Thursday, July 31, 2008

$ 20 MILLION dollars

The Packers and Brett Favre situation is definitely weird. In the latest news, the Packers offer Brett Favre $ 20 MILLION dollars ( 2 million a year for 10 years ) to remain retired.

If Brett wants more money that is a sweet deal. I will sit at home with my family and get paid quite a bit of money. HOWEVER, I think that Brett's desire to come back and play football has more to do with playing then just the money.

So, what is going to happen ? Who knows at this point. If he gets reinstated, will he show up at camp ? Will the Packers pay him 4 12 million dollars to sit the bench. Will Brett quietly sit on the bench and collect 12 million dollars .....

Or will a scene be caused and will he be traded or released ???

I have no clue ... the sage continues.

Kids Care Club



Today, I went over and had a meeting with the new Wooster City School Superintendent, Michael Tefs. It was a very good meeting. I went over to him to ask about partnering with the schools; especially the elementary schools to launch a Kids Care Club in Wooster. The meeting went very well. He also seems like a great guy and has passion and zeal about making our district a great district.

However, I want to share with you about KCC today. Here is some information:

What are Kids Care Clubs?

Kids Care Clubs are groups of kids who work together to help others around the world. The fact is, a Kids Care Club can be started with friends, a school class, an after-school program, or as a club within any youth organization.

All it takes is a group of eager elementary and middle school kids, plus and adult “facilitator” who keeps things organized and helps kids carry out their service projects.

Kids Care Clubs is dedicated to developing compassion and inspiring a spirit of volunteering in elementary and middle school children.

And remember, when kids work together with a little help from a caring adults, wonderful things happen !


What do Kids Care Clubs do?

Our country and our world face serious social issues, such as poverty, illiteracy, hunger, children in foster care and more. The kids of today will inherit these problems and must work toward solutions. And the truth is those solutions will come more quickly if a devotion to serving others begins early in life.

That’s what Kids Care Clubs are about. Each month, the clubs tackle a new project. Each project deals with a social issue like those mentioned above. Other projects are timed to holidays and special events – such as Veterans Day, Martin Luther King Day and Earth Day.

So Kids Care Club members don’t just learn about problems – they get the tools to start solving them.


How do Kids Care Clubs Help Others?

People at home and around the world are helped all year long through the compassion and spirit of Kids Care Clubs members.

Through hands-on service projects such as Eat Wise-Exercise, Team Up for Kids in Foster Care and holiday Hope Chests members of Kids Care Clubs help the eldery, hungry, homeless, disabled, sick and victims of disasters.

How do Kids Care Clubs Help Make A Brighter Future?

When kids learn at a an early age that caring about others make a real difference, the lessons can last a lifetime. By serving others, kids connect with people from different economical situations. With a wider, more tolerant view of the world they live in, kids grow into empowered adults, devoted to service.

Did You Know?

Quaker is proud to be the Premier Partner of Kids Care Clubs. The Club is a program of Points of Light & Hands on Network

There are more than 75,000 kids in 1,400 registered Kids Care Clubs. Kids Care Clubs are not only in the U.S. but also in Canada, Europe, Africa and Asia

Our KCC

We are going to be launching our KCC this year. We will be having our "kick-off" on Saturday, August 23rd to let the kids and the parents know about the program. We will then have our first meeting on September 3rd. Our meetings will be the First Wednesday of the month.

At these meetings, we will celebrate our past successes and plan what the up-coming programs and service projects will consist of. We will also have time of fellowship and team-building during the meetings.

The program will be for all children in grades K-8.

We are looking forward to having children serve in our community.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

President Bush Visits Ruth E. Harris



President Bush made an unexpected stop during his afternoon visit to Northeast Ohio that made it a day to remember for a 91-year old birthday girl.

The Presidential motorcade was departing a Gates Mills fundraiser en route to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport for a plane ride back to Washington, when a sign caught the President's eye.

The sign read: "Mr. President, please stop to take a 91st B-Day picture with Ma."

A group of people were crowded on the side of the road, trying to coax the President to honor "Ma," who happens to be Ruth E. Harris. She was celebrating her 91st birthday.

The President did stop, and so did the traveling press, the secret service -- and nearly everyone on Ruth's block.

President Bush sat with her, holding her hand and taking pictures for several minutes. "You look great," the President told her. "Where is the birthday cake?"

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They did a news story on this during our 11 o'clock news and thought that I would share it. I thought it was pretty cool.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Safe Vs. Unsafe People

Yesterday, I was reading some blogs doing "research". I was researching church community and saw that Kathy had done a post recently on safe communities vs. unsafe communities. Her post was driven from a book that she had read called Safe People.

After reading the list, I thought that her lists (the books) may be a good foundation for the sermon that I am working on for August 10th. The sermon is going to be the launching pad for our care groups that we are going to begin at Zion.

If I am a little honest, I am getting a little nervous about the groups, BUT that is not what this post is about. This post is about something that I believe ALOT of people are struggling with.

I mentioned this list on YMX and there are a few people who are beginning to discuss the list. A number of them have been hurt and have been abused by individuals, communities and churches. The reason for this is that the people they have been associated with have been "unsafe".

Now, to be honest, there are alot of them (us) that have been unsafe ourselves and with us being unsafe, we have damaged ourselves and others. I think that it is vital that we strive to be "safe" people and that we surround ourselves with "safe" people.

Too often though, we enter relationships with "unsafe" people and we do not put boundaries in them and we get ourselves hurt. So, without further ado; here is the list for safe and unsafe people. Read them and see about the following two things:

- are you safe or unsafe ?
- are those you are in relationship with safe or unsafe ?

unsafe people (and communities):

- think they ”have it all together”; no admitance of their weaknesses
- are defensive instead of open to feedback
- are self-righteous instead of humble
- only apologize instead of changing their behavior
- avoid working on their problems instead of dealing with them
- demand trust instead of earning it
- blame others instead of take responsibility
- lie instead of tell the truth
- remain stagnant instead of growing
- resist freedom instead of encouraging it
- flatter us instead of confronting us
- condemn us instead of forgiving us
- stay in parent/child roles instead of relating to us as equals
- unstable over time instead of being consistent
- gossip instead of keeping secrets

safe people (and communities):

- accept us just like we are
- love us no matter how we are being or what we do
- influence us to develop our ability to love and be responsible
- create love and good works within us
- give us an opportunity to grow & stretch & practice
- help us feel comfortable being “ourselves”, to be authentic
- allow us to become the us that God intended
- use their lives to touch ours and leave us better for it
- help us be more like Christ
- help us to like & love others more
- make the relationship more important than opinions
- receive instead of just give
- are humble & willing to say what they need
- are honest, kind & don’t pretend
- work through resistances instead of giving up

It is my hope and prayer that we will be safe people. It is my hope and prayer that the care groups that we are forming at Zion will be safe communities. Then because we are safe, people will experience Christ.

Viola

Today was my day to go up to the Viola Clinic. The Viola Clinic is our communities Free Medical Clinic. I go up there to give a helping hand. No, do not worry, I am not giving medical advice and they do not give me free reign with the needles. I am one of the behind the scenes people.

My job is rather simple, I take individuals medical files that have visited the clinic and I refile them back into their system. After I finish filing the medical files, I go to three of the workers and shred their papers.

Today, Stacey was up at the Cleveland Clinic with Bethany, so I had the boys with me. Thus, they went ip to the clinic with me. They were fantastic and everyone commented on how well they were.

The reason for this post is to notice the fact of how "nice" the place is to go to. They are so friendly and welcoming to everyone and as you watch people "scurring" around; you can not tell who wprks there and who volunteers there; which I think is very cool. You really feel like you are part of a caring community ..... which leads me to the church.

Is that how it is in the church ?

I believe that most churches need work in that area.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Church Blogs

One of the things that I have been working on is setting up some church blogs. The blogs will all have their separate sites but they will all link to one another.

I have tried to do the "home blog" in such a way that it makes it easy to navigate. I am not sure if I succeeded or not. If you want to go check it out and let me know, that would be great.

If you are familiar with wordpress (which I used), I used pages (tabs) to announce the blogs. When you click on the page, you get a brief intro and link to the new blog.

Hopefully, we can get individuals using it. I was happy to see the initial number that clicked on Kids Care Club when I sent the letter out to the kids letting them know about the new ministry and the blog.

AnyWhoo, here is the home blog

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Prayer of Obama

I find this wrong on so many levels:




An Israeli newspaper's decision to publish a handwritten prayer left by Barack Obama in the cracks of Jerusalem's Western Wall drew criticism Friday as an invasion of his privacy and his relationship with God.

In the note, placed at Judaism's holiest site Thursday, Obama asks God to guide him and guard his family.

"Lord — Protect my family and me. Forgive me my sins, and help me guard against pride and despair. Give me the wisdom to do what is right and just. And make me an instrument of your will," reads the note published in Maariv.

Maariv ran a photograph of the note on its front page Friday. It said the note was removed from the wall by a Jewish seminary student immediately after Obama left.


Thankfully, this comes out from them not too much later:

The paper's decision to make the note public brought quick criticism from religious authorities. The rabbi in charge of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinovitz, called it an intrusion on Obama's intimate relationship with God.

"The notes placed between the stones of the Western Wall are between a person and his maker. It is forbidden to read them or make any use of them," Rabinovitz told Army Radio.

The newspaper's action "damages the Western Wall and damages the personal, deep part of every one of us that we keep to ourselves," he added.


Rosenblum made it very clear as well:

"It's inappropriate that the prayers of a person at the Western Wall should become a subject of public knowledge at all," said Jonathan Rosenblum, a Jerusalem-based analyst of the religious community and director of the Orthodox Am Ehad think tank.

"There is a rabbinic prohibition against reading other people's private communications, and certainly anyone who goes to the wall expects that those communication will be protected," Rosenblum said.


I understand that those in the spotlight are scrutenized and that our political candidates for presidents are watched constantly BUT there needs to be some line that we are not allowed to cross.

Friday, July 25, 2008

UN MILLENIUM GOALS

There are somethings that occur and then you do not hear much more about. I have been doing some researching on the goals and how they are processing. Some are doing good, others are doing terrible. Here are the goals:

GOAL 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

GOAL 2: Achieve universal primary education

GOAL 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

GOAL 4: Reduce child mortality

GOAL 5: Improve maternal health

GOAL 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

GOAL 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

GOAL 8: Develop a global partnership for development

I would love to see these occur. I would love to see us ERADICATE them. But, we need to put a plan into action if we want to see it occur.

just tinking

A Church Garden ?

Very Cool.

messiah Lutheran Church in Grand Island, Nebraska is trying a new method of seeking relief from rising food costs: growing their own. Volunteers are maintaining a new community garden across the street from the church, which has sections reserved for church youth and 10 area families. Local businesses donated plants for the 2,000 square foot garden.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Global Poverty

I think that I may be challenged to go to the following conference and see how this may help our church, our community and our oureach.




Bottom-Up Approaches to Global Poverty: Appropriate Technology, social Entrepreneurship and the Church


The way that Christians respond to those most in need is a sign of God's presence. But the mission of the church does not move in one direction-from West to East, first to third world, or affluence to poverty. Nor is it controlled from a central location or organization. Located in every province of every country, the church is situated to react to the needs of the poor in an especially powerful way-from the bottom up.

Prompted by God's call to meet the needs of the poor, marginalized, and oppressed, Christians can respond sensitively and productively to poverty though faith-inspired practices of appropriate technology and social entrepreneurship. The former draws on a community's existing talents and resources to produce technology that is simple, inexpensive, easily maintained, culturally acceptable, and responsive to genuine human needs. The latter finds alternative approaches to corporate structures that provide opportunities to improve the physical and social conditions of the poor.

Instead of rivals at cross purposes, these three forces-local church, appropriate technology, and social entrepreneurship-hold enormous promise when they converge, for they have the potential to create genuine social change and express Christian faith and witness.

POW'S

No, not Prisoners of War !!

Prisoners, Orphans and Widowers

What is your community (church) doing to serve them ?

Saint & Sinner

I am pondering this today:

• Saint and sinner

Luther described Christians as “simultaneously saint and sinner.” Some religious traditions distinguish between “saints,” who obey God’s will, and “sinners,” who disobey. Lutherans cling to a both/and understanding of Christian identity that redefines the word “saint”: a saint is a forgiven sinner.

Our dual identity as saints and sinners reminds us that our righteousness always depends on God’s grace, never on our own religious behavior. At the same time, our recognition that sin, while forgiven, remains a powerful force in the world and in ourselves gives us a realistic ability to confront cruelty and evil, confident that God will have the last word.

As Luther once wrote to Melanchthon, “Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world.”

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Do we, Christians, separate the two words out ?
Should we sepearate the words out ?
What spiritual implications does this have on our lives ?

President Bush on Wall Street



President Bush:

Whenever you are out with individuals, you are going to be recorded.
It is a fact of life.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Vacation Bible School Week

that is what is happening at the church in the evening .....

in the morning and early afternoon, the boys are in horseback riding camp and bethany is in vbs at the umc next door.

i am working frantically on numerous proposals and projects. i am hoping to have a good handle on everything by sat. aug. 2nd.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Baptisms & Boaters Clash

Who has thr right to the water ?

How long should boaters wait before getting into the water ?

They battle it out in Chattanooga

Churches in Soddy-Daisy that plan to perform baptisms at public boat ramps will now have to first contact City Hall. That was the decision of the Soddy-Daisy Commission during its meeting this week.

The unanimous decision was made following a report by Commissioner Geno Shipley, who said that on the Fourth of July, a local church held baptism services at a public boat ramp for about 40 people. And while the services were taking place, an individual with a boat to launch became impatient and went ahead and put it in the water.

“I think it’s real rude to do something like that,” Commissioner Shipley said.

“I don’t know if it’s legal or illegal,” but maybe there should be a sign at public boat docks stating that boaters should respect a baptism service and not launch boats until the service is over, he said.

City Attorney Sam Elliott noted that the boat ramp is one of only a few in the area for public use and that the law stipulates that “you can’t hinder religion, but you can’t advance it either.”

He then suggested that religious groups notify City Hall concerning how many people will be baptized and how long it will take. “If it’s a two-hour baptizing, then that really hinders” use of the boat ramp, he said, adding that a church planning a baptism service longer than 30 minutes should “pick an alternative time” when boaters are less likely to be there.

City Attorney Elliott noted that he was just using “common sense” in his recommendation because there are no court cases dealing with that particular subject.

Mayor Bob Privett asked if anyone called the Soddy-Daisy Police Department, and Commissioner Shipley said, yes, and that the police arrived and talked to the driver of the boat, but did not give him a citation because it did not seem to be the right thing to do.

Mayor Privett replied, “That was a good judgment call.”

During a brief interview following the meeting, Mayor Privett said usually “99 percent” of the people who encounter a baptism service will wait until it is over, but that in this case “one person, whoever that person was, chose to push the issue of the law ….

“When we get to a day and time that a person can’t respect another person’s religious activity of baptizing, we’re in trouble.”


Interesting Story

The Story

Police Save & Then Kill Man

No, I am not making this up.

A man who went overboard during a party cruise in the San Diego Bay was killed by police Saturday night after he attacked the officers who had tried to rescue him, police said today.

Police said the man was on a party cruise with at least 800 other people when he somehow ended up in the water after 11 p.m. He was identified today as Steven Paul Hirschfield, 37, of Los Angeles.

The boat's captain sent a distress signal, and two Harbor Police boats and one boat from the U.S. Coast Guard responded and pulled Hirschfield from the water.

But Hirschfield began fighting with police as soon as he was on board, said San Diego Harbor Police Sgt. Dave Fouser.



"You're trying to help some guy out the water and he's fighting," Fouser said. "He became very combative with the officers, and somewhere in the course of the fight, he was able to get one of the officer's Tasers away from him."

Fouser said Hirschfield knocked one officer to the deck and then used the Taser to strike him in the face. When Hirschfield then tried to grab one of the officer's guns, Fouser said, the other officer shot him.

Hirschfield was taken to an ambulance waiting on land nearby and was pronounced dead from the single gunshot wound, Fouser said.

The San Diego Police Department's homicide unit is investigating the shooting along with the San Diego Harbor Police Department and the county district attorney's office. It's unclear how many of the 800 passengers on the party cruise saw the incident, but police said they took the names and contact information for all those on board.

The Story Source

Wow.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Nice Catch



A fan catches a home run ball hit by Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners as Right Fielder Shin-soo Choo of the Cleveland Indians watches on July 19, 2008 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. The Indians defeated the Mariners 9-6. Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images/AFP == FOR NEWSPAPERS, INTERNET, TELCOS & TELEVISION USE ONLY == (Photo credit should read OTTO GREULE JR/AFP/Getty Images)

Cleveland is in last but they have played good the last 10 days, I think. Anyways, props to the fan for the catch.

Invisible .....

That is how I felt when I went to church tonight.

I decided to go to church and be a visitor. I almost had to put my coat on even though it was 84 degrees outside - it was that cold.

Some of the things that occurred:

- I walked right pass the ushers and they did not give me a bulletin
- No one in the service greeted me
- I sat on the right side of the church - alone
- The folks doing the offerring, did not even come to me, had money in my hand

It was cold. They had a fellowship time afterwards. If I went there, maybe it would have been different. But, I was in "visitor" mode. If someone would have asked me to go down, I would have joined them.

The pastor did yell to me as I was leaving/exiting, "Nice to have you, hope you come back".

I think that I am going to visit a few more and see how I am treated. Then I need to reflect and see how we (Zion) treat guests.

Oh, and no I did not hide in the crowd, there were about 45 people there. My appearence may have spooked them. Maybe, if I clean up and take my family, it will make a difference.

I can/will NOT let this bitter me though. They are a church in our community and I want US to be able to do ministry events together. I went there to meet some of them but after they (the hosts) did not greet me, I decided that I would/will wait for another day.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Christians at the Border



Christians at the Border: Immigation, the Church, and the Bible



This book is a double entendre. In a very real sense everyone in the US has to take a political position about what is going on at the physical boundry with Mexico. Consciously or unconsciously, we all take a stand at the literal border, a stand that reflects our social, economic, and racial attitudes and situation. But for christians there is an additional border. It is a metaphorical decision point. We must determine whether the place we choose to stand in the national debate will be based on the Word of God or wether we will ignore its teaching and defend our opinions on other grounds. This border, in other words, confronts us as a crosroads of faith and conviction.


M. Daniel Carrol R. is the author of the book. He is a distinquished Professor of OT at Denver Seminary and adjunct professor at El Seminario Teologico Centroameicano in Guatemala city, Guatemala. He received his PhD from the University of Sheffield. He is the author or editor of several books and a contributing editor to Prism.

This book was challenging and very good. To be honest, this book was a "deep" book that was on a very easily readible level. The book also challenged some of my thoughts and my position on immigration. Immigration is not an easy issue. Here are some of the quotes and thoughts that stood out to me.

Christian faith is fibrant among the immigrant population, which now numbers in the millions.


What is your community doing to reach out to the immigrant population. I don't think that we do a good job at it.

hospitality to the stranger is a virtue.


We are not that hospitable; are we ?

Israel's stance toward the foreigner was part of the larger fabric of its ethical life. It was part of the ethos of what it meant to be the people of God.


There are examples that we can gleam from the Bible, if we are willing to dive into the Scripture, take a look and see what the implications for them/us are.

Jesus modeled a new and different way of looking at persons who are outside the circle of the known and beyond acceptability.


I think that the greatest example of this is how he interated with the Samaritan story. We also need to remember that everyone is our neighbor.

Jesus' actions and attitudes transcends cultural identity; they also help us define what it means to be his follower.


What do you think our action should be in welcoming those who cross the border ?

In the book, he deals with scriptures and addresses the legal and "illegal" issue that often comes into the debate and sometimes clouds the issue.

If you have any interest in immigration in the US and especially as it deals with the border to the south of this; I strongly suggest that you pick up this book.

Building a Church of Small Groups



Building a Church of Small Groups: a place where nobody stands alone was a ook that I finished up recently. This book was place on my "to read" list BECASUSE we are making some shifts into this direction.

The shift for us is going to begin to swing in September '08. I am "leading" the charge. Well, at least that is the intent anyway. But the post is not about our change; that will come in due time BUT it is about the book.

I think that the book has great value and some of the writing is extremely insightful. Much of the material will find its way into our promotion and articles to share about groups and what they will mean to us.

The book is a very practical book and it is divided up into 4 different sections. The sections are the folloing;

- making the case for community
- pursuing community in small groups
- developing leaders of small groups
- leading a church of small groups

If you would take a look at my book, you would see many pages folded it. There are sentences that are stared and words that are underline. Big circles encompass a few areas with words USE IN ARTICLE. The book is chalked full of useful material; especially in our case.

However, there is one sentence that jumped out to me. Now, it was not new because I have heard it before but ooohhhhhhh, it rings so true and is close to my heart. Here is the nugget of truth:

We want to encourage you to become people who know and are known, who care and are cared for, who forgive and are being forgiven, who love and are being loved.


that is a burning desire.

To be in an intimate group where I could give and receive those four things would be wonderful.

B U L L S G E S C H I C H T E

The word for the day .....

Bullsgeschichte (n.)

A theologically inaccurate statement that strays from the historic faith; derived from the German heilsgeschichte. "When he stated that belief in penal substitution makes God a cosmic child abuser, he was talking a load of bullsgeschichte."

The Church Meets Here

I absolutely love reading Alan's blog. Sometimes, it is over my head but it is always challenging and even though the topics that he deals with are deep, he brings it down.

Well, today, he did a re-post due to a conversation that he had and I had to bring it over here. Take a read, it is GREAT.

Alan Says, " I recently had a coversation with a brother that was very thought-provoking. Many churches have "Wednesday night services". What would happen if those churches actually served their communities on Wednesday nights? Our conversation reminded me of a blog post that I wrote just over a year ago called "The church meets here". I'm copying it here to remind myself and my readers of what the church meeting could look like, if it actually involved service and wasn't just called a "service". "

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I live six miles from my work place. As I drive to work, I pass at least seven church buildings. Each building has a sign out front announcing the name of the church that meets in the building. (To be literal, the signs actually name the building, but I'm assuming that the people who erected the signs actually meant to name the group of believers that meet in the buildings.) On Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings, temporary signs pop up around the downtown area announcing several other churches that meet in downtown businesses. Each of these signs is intended to announce the meeting place for a church.

I've been wondering lately what would happen if we started finding signs saying "The church meets here" in more diverse locations. For example, we know from the New Testament that many times the church met in homes. What would happen if someone put a sign in their front yard that said, "The church meets here"? Or, even better, Acts 2 says the church met from house to house. What if that sign followed the believers from one house to another as they met together in different locations?

Taking it one step further, we know that God intends for his children to love and serve others. What if the church met in the most dilapidated house in the community? No, not the most dilapidated house owned by a member of the church, but the most dilapidated house in the community. What would happen if the church met in that run-down house and renovated it as they met together? After remodelling that house, the church could begin meeting in another house in need of repairs.

Some of you may be thinking, how would anyone know where the church was meeting? Isn't it interesting that the church in the first century was able to meet from house to house, but, in the the twenty-first century - with twenty-first century communication - we don't think we could meet in different locations. (I have a theory... I wonder if the desire to have one meeting location has less to do with whether or not other believers know where the church is meeting. Instead, we want others to know where the church is meeting so that they will come to the meeting, and we can call ourselves evangelistic, without ever communicating the gospel to anyone. It's just a theory.)

Similarly, some may be wondering how the church can meet without a stage, sound system, microphone, instruments, pulpit, etc. Well, I think it might just work anyway. While it is good to use modern innovations (such as communication), it is not good to be dependent on those innovations. Which of these are necessary for the church to meet?

Also, some may wonder about teaching and preaching. I think that if the church meets together in a run-down house, and over the course of several weeks the church renovates that house, there will be plenty of teaching and preaching. In fact, I think there will be plenty of friends and neighbors who come to see who these fools are who would give up their time and money to help someone that cannot pay them back. Oh, it might not happen after the first or second meeting. But, what about going into the second year, after the church has renovated fifteen or twenty homes around the community. I wonder if the church wouldn't find a much more receptive and interested audience for their preaching and teaching.

But, let's not stop at dilapidated houses. What if the church met in prisons or hospitals? What if the church met in an area frequented by the homeless or prostitutes? What if the church met in a nursing home or retirement center? What if the church met in an orphanage? Now, I'm not talking about going to visit once per year. I'm talking about the church continually meeting in these locations. Wouldn't it be easier to take care of those whom God wants the church to care for?

I wonder, if the church began to meet in places like this, would a sign even be necessary? Can you think of other interesting locations where the church could meet and serve people at the same time?

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I have been pondering something very similar ... but I have not flushed it out yet.

Thanks Alan !

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Pastor & Family For Sale

Pastor is selling himself and his family on eBay

On eBay

You are looking at/bidding on a very contemporary out of the box Pastor. As you can tell by the pictures He preaches and teaches in a very unorthodox manner. He does it without compromising the true written word of God. He and his family has chosen to go this route of putting themselves on the market in hopes to find a church that is untraditional and is ready to reach their community. He and his family will consider relocating in the contentinental United States. For any questions or more information feel free to email Pastor Chad at pastorchad72@gmail.com or visit his my space at

http://www.myspace.com/pastorchadsmith

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An Alabama pastor has listed himself and his family for sale on eBay.






Earlier this year, Chad Smith, a pastor from Tuscaloosa, and his wife, Marti, began looking for a non-denominational church to lead. However, Pastor Smith found that his résumé was one of hundreds that many churches were looking through. So Smith says he began praying, asking God for a novel way to get his name out there. "So I was riding my motorcycle – yes, I ride a Harley Davidson – was riding down the road, and came up with the idea of putting my wife, myself, and my kids for sale on eBay," Smith explains.

And that is what Smith has done. He will not disclose the reserve bid, but shipping costs are listed at $3,000 dollars. Smith says he has received emails from around the country -- some supportive, and some questioning his sincerity.

"I've had some pastors say, 'Hey man, this is an absolutely great idea, and getting yourself out-of-the-box.' And then you get the other side that says 'Hey, why don't you pray and ask God where you need to be?'" Smith contends.

In his eBay listing, Smith points out that he is a non-conventional preacher who is looking for a non-traditional church. "We know we have a home out there. We know that there's a church out there that God is going to place us in," Smith adds. "And we believe he's going to link us together -- and we pray this is a source he can use."

--------------------------

Hmmm, Wow .... is about all I can say .....

Andy Keaton

Do you remember him ?

Family Ties ...

Michael J. Fox younger brother ....

Here is a pic to jar your memory



Brian Bonsall

When he is not in trouble, this is what he is doing:

Bonsall is now in a punk rock band called Thruster, where he plays drums.

Now, how is that for a worthless blog post ?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My Grandma

As most of you know, my grandma passed away a week ago. It has been a very busy week and I have not had a chance to write much about her, the funeral and some things that are troubling me.

I am sitting here listening to Air1 and decided to jot down a few things. Some of this may be just for my sake to get to the next step. If you want to join me in the journey; please feel free to do so.

If there is anything in here that upsets family members who read this, shoot me a comment, give me a call or email me and I will edit this post. I don't think that there will be too much "junk" in here BUT, I have no clue what I am going to write yet, so something may spill out.

Remembering Her

In the sermon, Rick (minister) mentioned that one of the things that needs to be done is that you need to remember the loved one and keep the stories of her close to your heart. I have a lot of memories about her but there are some that stand out more than others. The funny thing about it is that there are 5 specific things that I remember from (about) her when I was very young ( 9 and under ). From 9 - 25, I remember general concepts and times. Then I remember/treasure when I would come home, go down to her house and shoot the breeze with her for about an hour or so. I will share the 5 stories with you. I will give you a heads up that 80% of them have to do with alcohol or bars :)

Story 1

When grandpa and her use to baby sit me when I was a little kid, they would take me to the local bar (Daily Double) and I would sit on the bar stool and have shrimp in the basket with fries and a Pepsi to drink and once in awhile, I got to play cards on the video machine.

Story 2

For a few years, she operated a bar. I would walk to her bar after school and she would kick everyone off the pool table and I would climb onto the pool table and take a nap.

Story 3

Super Bowl XIII. We lived on the 3rd floor. Her bar was on the first floor. In the bar, she had one of those grid boxes. The grid box had the numbers of one team 0-9 vertically and the numbers of one team 0-9 horizontally. You put your name in the grid and if the teams score ended in that number you won. I won. I had 5 and 1. The Steelers beat the Cowboys 35-31. I won $ 50 (as an 8 year old). I didn't get to keep all $ 50 though, she made me buy beers for her customers - what is up with a minor buying adults a drink.

Story 4

Super Bowl XIV. This time, I was down on the 2nd floor with her in her place. I was watching my beloved Steelers beat the Rams. My parents were traveling down south. We were contemplating a move. I had always wondered what would have happened if we had moved to Alabama back in 1980. Life would have been very different; I am sure.

Story 5

This is probably why I don't like beer :) My grandma / grandpa would ask me to go in and get them a beer from their refrig keg. I could not pour correctly; too many 'suds'. So, they would make me sip them up. YUCK.

Alright, the stories are over. Now on to the other aspects of this post. While at the funneral, I was speaking to Lisa, one of my 1st cousins. I had no idea it was her but someone said, "hey there is Lisa". Now, I know who Lisa is but we grew up about 6 hours apart and seen each other maybe a dozen times. I had not talked to her or seen her since 1995, I do believe.

So, we were talking about our lives and what we have been doing. She told me where she was living and she told me about her kids and then I did the same thing. During the conversation, we both acknowledged how bad and sad it is that here we are - 1st cousins - and we have no clue about one another - nada. I mean, if I am being brutally honest - I really had no idea she was married and had 3 kids.

The thing that I believe is troubling about the situation is that we live in the 21st century. We have phones, cell phones, texting ability, emails, blogs, facebook, cars to drive and the list can go on ...YET we do not connect.

It saddened me that when my grandma's obituary was read and that it stated that she had 13 grand kids and 13 great-grand kids that I could not tell you who the grand kids were - let alone the great-grand kids.

I don't think that it should be this way and for 36 years of my life, I have not really done much about it. The sad thing is ... that even after the funeral and seeing most of the grand kids, I STILL can not rattle off the names ..SAD.

So, I decided to ask my YM friends if they knew their family members. The question, options and their answers are below:

Do you know the names of your family ( aunts, uncles, cousins ) ?

- I Know 100% of them - 11 votes (44%)
- I know 80 - 99% of them - 8 votes (32%)
- I know 60 - 79% of them - 2 votes (8%)
- I know 40 - 59% of them - 1 vote (4%)
- I know under 40% of them - 2 votes (8%)
- I have NO CLUE because I can not even tell you how many I have - 1 vote (4%)

Total Voters: 25

Well, lookie there. I am the only one that could not do it :(

Now that it over, let me move on to the next subject ....

Funerals !!

They amaze me. At times, I do not understand what occurs. I am not even ready to put into words yet what is churning inside of me. But there are two issues/situations that occurred that I just don't think are right ... maybe I will share more later.

Not today.

It's the Democrat's Fault



Lovely Pic of the Towers ..... *sighs*

I did not see the whole story; so I can only give what I saw; please enlighten me if you heard him on the morning shows.

A Florida man is using billboards with an image of the burning World Trade Center to encourage votes for a Republican presidential candidate, drawing criticism for politicizing the 9/11 attacks.

"Please Don't Vote for a Democrat" reads the type over the picture of the twin towers after hijacked airliners hit them on September, 11, 2001.

Mike Meehan, a St. Cloud, Florida, businessman who paid to post the billboards in the Orlando area, said former President Clinton should have put a stop to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda before 9/11. He said a Republican president would have done so.

"I believe 9/11 could have been prevented if we'd had a Republican president at the time," Meehan said Wednesday on CNN's "American Morning."

But Democrats and Republicans are saying Meehan shouldn't be using a 9/11 image to make a political point. "This is a blatant exploitation of that terrible tragedy for political and, perhaps even worse, personal gain," Bill Robinson, the Orange County, Florida, Democratic Party chairman told CNN affiliate WFTV-TV in Orlando.

The local Republican Party called the billboard "inappropriate," according to WFTV.

I am interested in the italics part. I by no means blame President Bush, but I think that he ( a republican ) was in the White House when the attacks occurred.

I am assumming that Meehan is referring to Clinton not killing Bin Laden when President Clinton may have had the chance to do so (stories differ greatly on that).

Anyways, this is another example of why I do not like politics in our country. I know, I know, I know ... I should be greatfult that we live in a country where we can be dumb and place it out there for the world to see.

Broccolli Salad and carrots are done, time to take the dog out and back to the church.

2 Hole-In-One's ???



Is It Possible ?

Did It Really Happen ?


Last week, brothers Davis and Hanks Massey, aged 9 and 11, respectively, pulled off a feat that borders on the unimaginable for golfers of all ages: They both hit holes-in-one in succession at the Par-3 third at TPC Sawgrass

The odds of two players in the same group making a hole-in-one have been estimated at 17 million-to-1 by Francis Scheid, a retired Boston University math professor who was commissioned by Golf Digest to calculate hole-in-one odds under various scenarios.

Now, add to that back-back AND brothers AND their ages .....

BTW, I decided to take a 10 min break and post this AFTER, I finally nailed out one of my projects. I still have quite a few to go and am not really sure how I am going to get every done BUT, I am going to take a breather and keep plugging.

I am going to walk home, have some broccli slaw and carrots and then walk back to church building for more wore and a VBS meeting.

Thanks God ....

So, I just posted the over-whelmed post and started hitting the to-do-list and this popped into my mailbox .....



I think that I may need to buy that poster. I am off to conquer my to-do-list. Now, I just have to list them in the right priority order *sigh*

I Am Over-Whelmed

That sums it up pretty much.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Semi-Automatic Gun

Come to Church for a Youth Weekend and you may just walk home with the winning prize - A SEM AUTOMATIC GUN

There is a video at the site to watch as well

Win a Gun

Dr. Pathak

Have you heard about him ?

I am going to "merge" two stories that I came across today. These are a little lengthy but the work that he is willing to do and is doing is amazing to me. I wish there were more people that were willing to make a difference.




Picture above is Dr. Pathak working. Here is a little information from him and what he has done and is doing:

DR. BINDESHWAR PATHAK is a great humanist and social reformer of contemporary India. To the weaker sections of society especially, his is the compassionate face of a paternal redeemer. He has the vision of a philosopher and the undying zeal of a missionary. He is the icon of a new culture which embraces the poor and extols the dignity of labour. His boundless love for the downtrodden finds expression in myriad and tangible ways. No wonder those who know him intimately swear that Dr. Pathak is born to help the helpless. He is the leader of a national crusade for restoration of human rights and dignity to millions of scavengers (cleaner and carrier of human excreta), traditionally known as untouchables; and for providing safe and hygienic human waste disposal system to 700 million Indian population who go outside for open defecation even along roads and railway tracks described graphically by V.S. Naipaul and Ronal Segal. He has himself identified with the problems of the untouchables. Dr. Pathak's multi-pronged efforts in bringing scavengers, worst victims of institutionalised caste discrimination and engaged in a sub-human occupation, in the mainstream of national life has taken the shape of a movement for social justice. Moreover, he is an internationally acclaimed expert on sanitation and has developed and implemented on pan- Indian scale a low-cost and appropriate toilet technology recommended by UN bodies for about three billion people across the globe. To him goes the credit to sensitize Indians towards sanitation and those engaged in the sanitation work. Apart from low-cost sanitation, his contributions are widely known in the areas of bio-energy and bio-fertiliser, liquid and solid waste management, poverty alleviation and integrated rural development. In fact, he is a Renaissance Man and combines in himself the traits of a social scientist, an engineer, an administrator and an institution-builder. What is remarkable is that he has ingeniously utilised all these expertise to enrich and empower the depressed classes.

The widespread phenomenon of open defecation remains grim even after 50 years of India's Independence. Especially women have to suffer a lot due to non-availability of toilets. Even today 110 million Indian houses have no toilets and 10 million houses have bucket toilets causing filth and diseases. The situation is so appalling that about half million children die every year due to dehydration caused by open defecation.

Environmental cleanliness and sanitation was the dearest subject of Mahatma Gandhi who proclaimed that 'cleanliness is next only to godliness'. Gandhi had said, "There are many things to do. Let each one of us choose our task and stick to it through thick and thin. Let us pick up that position which we can handle best". Gandhi had two ideas in mind while talking about sanitation : one, that no one should clean and carry human excreta of others just to earn one's livelihood. There must be some scientific method of human waste disposal system. Finding no other affordable alternative during his life time Gandhi had suggested 'Tatti par mitti' (cover human excreta with soil) or use of trench latrine which he himself used while living in Phoenix Ashram in South Africa. Secondly, Gandhi wanted that those who are engaged in sanitation work should not be treated as untouchables. They should get equal respect in the society, he took pains to emphasise, and in his typical style went on to declare that "the Bhangi (scavenger) is as important as the Viceroy".

After Gandhi Dr. Pathak is the man, more than any other in India, who has championed sanitation and upliftment of the untouchables as mission of his life. For the last three decades he has been working relentlessly to keep the ecosystem clean and bring the marginalised sections of the society in the mainstream. He gave new dimension to the Gandhian movement and broadbased his principled fight against all kinds of discrimination. The New York Times, in the article 'Untouchables gain the help of a Brahmin', hailed him as a "full-time crusader against the humiliations of untouchability". His contribution in abolishing the inhuman practice of scavenging is seminal and unparalleled in the sense that he not only studied the social evil but provided its categorical solution through a low-cost toilet-technology and developed a self-sustaining sanitation system across the country. In the process of providing alternative to scavenging and rehabilitation and social upgradation of scavengers, Dr. Pathak created a pan-Indian network with 50,000 volunteers and gave birth to what is popularly known as Sulabh Sanitation Movement. "No body should go outside for defecation and every house in India should have a toilet" has become the passionate obsession of Dr. Pathak.

Now here is the story that came across the wires this morning that prompted me to post this and as I was reading this, I was directed to my readings in the book called: The Life of Meaning.



ALWAR, India (CNN) -- At birth, Usha Chaumar's life story had already been written. So-called scavengers collect the garbage, feces and urine of higher caste people.1 of 6 Illiterate and married off at age 10, Chaumar was forced into the only livelihood her family has known for generations.

As a Dalit, the lowest level in India's complex caste system, she was a so-called scavenger, a person who collects the garbage, feces and urine of other higher caste people. In the eyes of many, that would make her too disgusting to touch.

"They used to call me all kind of names,'' Chaumar, now 33, said. "I used to feel very bad. but what could I do? I didn't have any work to do but this job."

Traditionally, the age-old Hindu caste system is a social hierarchy that determines what occupation a person should pursue. Broadly, the system has four major castes and thousands of sub-castes.

At the upper rung are Brahmins, the priestly class; followed by the Kshatriya or warrior caste; the Vaishya, the trading community; and the Shudras -- trades like carpenters, barbers and metalworkers. The Dalits are involved in menial professions that no one else wants. Hundreds of thousands of Indians are believed to fall in this category.

Officially, the caste system has been outlawed, but millennia of tradition have left deep dividing lines in Indian society. In the town of Alwar in the northern state of Rajasthan, there are about 300 so-called "untouchable" women working in this profession. For her efforts, Chaumar got paid $7 to $10 a month. But it helped to feed her three children.

India has laws against "manual scavenging," as it is called. But the work is still around, in part because of the poor sanitation system in India. In many parts of the country, especially in rural India, many toilets are dry bucket toilets (named for the way they are shaped) that are not hooked up to any pipes. The waste just drops to the ground below.

Manju Atwal says she cleans 20-25 bucket toilets a month and makes about $20 per month, which helps feed her six children. "For the past 20 years my life hasn't been a life. The world treats us like insects," Atwal said. "I want to walk upright, get a good job and get rid of this dirty work so the world wouldn't oppose us. We want to walk with the world," Atwal said.

Now 56 former "untouchable" women from Alwar are getting their wish. They are quitting their demeaning jobs and walking with their heads held high, no longer invisible to those around them.

Dr. Bindeswar Pathak of Sulabh International is their guide.

"I saw their conditions, and I thought they were living like ... pigs," Dr. Pathak said. "So why not give them some alternative jobs ... to do something else." Dr. Pathak happens to be from India's highest caste. His interest in helping Dalits began at an early age.

"While I was a child at 13 years old, I touched an untouchable. For that my grandmother forced me to swallow cow dung, cow urine and Ganges water to purify myself," Pathak said. He was dismayed at the experience and for the past 40 years has made it his mission to elevate the downtrodden. So far, his organization says it's helped more than 60,000 "untouchables" and installed more than a million of its eco-friendly, humane toilets in India alone.

The United Nations Development Program estimates 2.6 billion people do not have access to a clean and safe place to go to the toilet. It is a recipe for deadly disease. The U.N. deemed 2008 the Year of Sanitation to bring awareness to the importance of proper sanitation.

Dr. Pathak and the former "untouchables" of Alwar were invited to New York to illustrate that point and also be honored. Pathak took 36 of the women to the United Nations, the women's first trip outside India.

In New York, the spotlight shone on the women, as they strode down the runway modeling the blue saris that they now design and tailor. The former sanitation workers used to spend their lives covering their faces so they did not upset those around them. Now they are objects of admiration.

Usha Chaumar was singled out for her amazing accomplishments: She can read and write now and is no longer doing the dirtiest of work. She was crowned "Princess of Sanitation Workers" at the United Nations. Watch Chaumar wear the crown and describe her life before »

It is a title that will take time to get used to after being treated like dirt for most of her life. "I am overjoyed getting this honor in New York and wearing this crown," Usha said. "There was a time when there was only filth on my head, and now it has a gold crown."

I think that we might have a "biblical" principle in there ......

What are we doing as the church ?

Ministry Conversations

Yesterday evening, I was helping out at DZ@6 with a couple of the youth from the church. Afterwards, we went to Starbucks to have a drink and to have some conversations. If anyone is interested; this is what I had:

Mint Mocha Chip Frappuccino® blended coffee with Chocolate Whipped Cream



Classic chocolate and spearmint flavor combined with Starbucks coffees and milk, mocha sauce, Frappuccino® chips, blended with ice, and then topped with chocolate whipped cream and mocha sauce

Anyways, it was a beautiful night and we sat outside and talked about the ministry at Zion, specifically about high school ministry and what we were going to be doing this fall. We have some "major" changes that are going to occur and some people may think that we are NUTS but that is okay.

I am not going to get into much of the specif is at this time because the point of this post (for me) is that I had a great time sitting there with the utes and LISTENING and HEARING what they are thinking and what is connecting and resonating in their lives and more importantly what IS NOT connecting in their lives.

One of the changes that will be occurring is that we will no longer be having Sunday School for them. We felt that SS and Youth were "competing" with each other and that we wanted to eliminate that for the students. Our hs students are being STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to help out in the children Sunday School (mentors, shepherds, drama, etc....).

We are going to create a "process" for the students to go through and the process WILL HOPEFULLY help us a a student ministry accomplish the mission of tHe church:

BE DISCIPLES & MAKE DISCIPLES

Guilty Pleasure

I have lived in Ohio for a year so I finally had to do it. What a better time to do it then ON VACATION. I was traveling home on Friday night from Indiana and I saw the sign and I had to pull in, the urge was too great. So, I went in and this is what I got ...



For those of you unfamiliar with that sight, that is a Skyline Chili 5-way. To me, it is a 5-Way or a No-Way I am eating there.

From a nutritional aspect, not exactly a healthy meal, especially on the sodium side. But, I had a "hunch" that I would stop there for dinner, so I tried to do better on my breakfast and lunch.

When I was in graduate school (94-96), Skyline was a weekly adventure. It had been a very long time ( can't even remember ) how long it had been since I stopped. It was very good NOT fantastic but very good.

I will have to ponder if it is good enough to purposely drive 40 mins each way some day to go and have it. I think that I 'feel' a youth outing :) The outing would be a "connect" event ( a subliminal hint for someone ).

Interacting With One Another

How we treat those others tells people MORE about what we believe, and what following Jesus means to us than all tracts we pass out, or all the fine sermons we deliver.


Yup.

This was brought to my attention today in a number of situations over the last 30 hours.

I hope and pray that those of us who are Christians will truly clothe ourselves with Christ and allow the Fruits of the Spirit to flow from our lives and we will once again take up Jesus challenge when he laid out what the two greatest commandments were:

- Love God
- Love Others

Do it, please.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Graffiti: Bridge to Life



I am amazed at individuals with this type of talent. I know that not everyone will agree with their "theology" but it is their talent and their willingness to use their talents to "preach" the message they believe in.

Hit to King of Kings

61 Years of Marriage


This story touched me. Quite frequently you hear about this and here is another example.

Delmar and Laverne Grieser died hours apart on July 8.



FISHER – Alzheimer's disease had begun to cloud and confuse the mind of a petite little woman named Laverne Hinton Grieser when she was in her 70s.

And as the disease took away Laverne's independence, her husband, Delmar, needed help. First a grown daughter moved home. Later they had to move Laverne into an Alzheimer's unit at a nursing home in Clinton, Ind., not far over the state line from Paris.

Delmar, ever devoted to the woman he called his beautiful lady, drove the 13 miles from their home in Rockville, Ind., to visit her every day. And even if she didn't recognize him or respond when he talked to her or held her hand, he came back and talked to her the next day.

But in February, health problems forced him to join her in the nursing home. They shared a room until she needed more intensive care and they moved him to another floor. Still, at least once a day he got someone to take him to her room and he sat beside her bed, calling her his pretty little lady. His pretty mommy.

And then on Tuesday, July 8, this long-ago Fisher farm boy became so ill that his family had his bed moved back into his wife's room. Their beds just a few feet apart, Laverne and Delmar were surrounded by family as he struggled for each breath. And then around noon, he died.

Laverne hadn't opened her eyes or talked in over a year. Very rarely would she be lucid enough to nod or shake her head if asked a question. But Tuesday was one of those days. "Do you know what's happening?" her daughter asked. Laverne nodded yes.

"Dad's not doing well, do you understand?" Again Laverne nodded.

And after Delmar drew his last breath, their oldest daughter leaned in close to her mother. "Dad's not in pain any more," she said. Laverne's children stood by as their mother's respiration began to slow. And when the staff wheeled his bed from the room, a daughter asked Laverne, "Do you understand what's happened?" Yes, Laverne nodded.

And miraculously, her children say, three hours and 35 minutes after her husband's death, Laverne died, too. "In so many ways it was such a blessing," said Mary Burkhart, their oldest daughter. "It's pretty special that they went together."

Laverne and Delmar will be buried today beside each other near Fisher in the East Bend Memorial Garden Cemetery, where his parents are buried. Both have deep roots in the northwestern area of Champaign County. They grew up in farm families within miles of each other. He graduated from Fisher High School, and she graduated from Mansfield High School. Both went on to graduate from the University of Illinois, but they didn't begin to date until she was doing an internship in Indianapolis. When World War II came, Delmar served in the Army; Laverne wrote him scores of letters.

After the war, he worked on the family farm while Laverne continued her education at the UI. Then on Jan. 25, 1947, they eloped to Bedford, Ky.

They spent their married lives moving every six or seven years, as he was transferred from store to store within the Sears Roebuck company. He managed the stores and Laverne worked as a dietitian. They had three daughters and a son and took a couple of family vacations across country to the West Coast and many more fishing trips. Delmar kept a large garden and Laverne helped him with it. She cooked up nutritious family meals, and loved to play the piano. They kept their family and religion the priorities in their lives.

Delmar had been raised Mennonite and Laverne as a Methodist. When they married they wanted to blend their beliefs, so they attended the Christian and Baptist churches. When they retired in Indiana they were members of the Rockville Christian Church but also attended a Baptist church there on Sunday evenings.

"They were really active in their church, and they had a real strong belief in supporting missions and children's ministries. And though my dad was 87 and she was 83, up until a few years ago they still helped out with Bible school every year at both churches. They were pretty neat people," Burkhart said.

Their family grew to include seven grandchildren, though one died in infancy, and they always made time for their daughters and son and grandchildren.

"They were always there for us," Burkhart said. "Family was their main thing."

Delmar was the boss of the two, though Laverne wasn't a meek or mild person, Burkhart said. She spoke her opinions, but believed that the man should be the head of the household.

"They had an unbelievably loving relationship," Burkhart said. "He called her 'Mommy' sometimes because that's what we called her. And 'my fat wife,'" she said, laughing, because she was real skinny, but he didn't call her that after she got Alzheimer's. Then he just called her 'my pretty girl.' 'My sweet mommy.' 'My pretty lady.'"

Their funeral will be this morning at the Dewey Mennonite Church.

Their matching, simple oak coffins will be closed, because in their ill health, both had become so thin. Laverne's coffin will have a spray of blue and white flowers. She loved blue. And the flowers on Delmar's coffin will be red, white and blue, to signify his service in the Army.

The coffins will be placed near each other. And beside Laverne's coffin will be a special bouquet.

Every year, for as long as anyone can remember, Delmar sent Laverne a dozen red roses for their anniversary, her birthday and Mother's Day.

"Every year," their daughter said. "Orchids for Easter, and roses for everything else. A dozen red roses. So we're going to have a vase with a dozen red roses beside her that says 'Beloved Wife.'

"That's what Dad would want."

They had an amazing relationship, Burkhart said, and she and her sisters and brother had prayed they'd both go together.

"They were married for 61 years ... and only apart for three hours."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Vacation Pictures

This post is going to be pictures from the vacation. On ytop of the picture IN BOLD will be a descriptive term of the photo and then underneath the photo in italics will be more info about the pic (if so desired).

Overall the trip was great. It did rain and storm some while we were there but to me; you have to expect rain and storms and just roll with it.

Kids Ready For Trip



As Stacey was doing the final packing items, we were outside and decided to snap a few photos. Here they are ready for their journey. We were going to travel about 90 mins and then go to church and then head on out .... thus the reason for some nicer travel clothes.

Jacob: Attitude Look



Lately, Jacob has been trying to give "this look" everytime a pic is taken. Our soft loving guy likes to give a hard look every once awhile.

Jeff, the Tough Man



I tried to show a mean look .... to out do him. I am not sure who won. Stacey was not too thrilled that I had my mohawk up and a "raggy" tshirt for church - at a church we had never been. But, I wanted to see how welcomed I would feel - being a little "rough". Very welcomed and very friendly church; really amazed.

Jacob Riding His Fusion



He loves it. He had an accident the first 10 mins there. He went down a very steep hill and tore his skin off. HOWEVER, he continued to ride all week and conquered the hill. I wish that I did a video.

Jacob .. Pondering



Deep thought.

Kids Eating Brunch



Yummy. Pancakes and Bacon

Isaiah Covering His Head



He did not want his hair to be in the pic BECAUSE he thought he was having a ...

Isaiah, His Bad Hair Day



Isaiah, A Close Up



We were all in the pick-up truck and he was almost right up on me. I love the pic though. You can look through his eyes and see his mind turning.

Isaiah in the Rain



rain .. rain .. rain .. go away and come back another day

Jacob and His Coral Snake



Jacob wants a real snake. Mom will not allow that in NO CARTAIN terms, so he settles for snake candy.

Jacob Crossing the Tree



We were not sure that he was going to make it, but he accomplished it.

Don't Start a Fire



Don't even think about it, mister

Bethany and Jacob Playing Frisbee



No, it is not in the pic, they are after it ... :)

Jacob on the Trail



Jacob liked the trail and even allowed a photo.

View From Our Hike



Very nice view. You can not see all the 'levels' in the pic though.

Isaiah Hiding



He loves to hide and 'spook' people; especially his younger brother. It is quite amusing to watch at times.

Corn, Anyone ?



Corn on the Cob in the Fire = GREAT TASTE

Those Hurt



It is bound to happen chasing the frisbee into the woods.

Doing Dishes in the Rain



Working Hard, even in the rain

The Fire Tower



The kids and I climbed it. I can not believe that I use to jump off of cliffs higher than the tower in college - craziness.

Stacey at the Bottom of the Tower



She looks so small .. she looks like an ant (Bethany)

Bethany and Jacob in the Truck



Ready for the trip back to the campsite through the park. Yes, we got reprimanded.

Bethany Smelling the Flowers



I love this photo and she loves her flowers

Bethany and the Moth



She chased creatures all week.

Bethany at the Lake



She made me cast a shadow over her so her eyes would not be blinded.

Bethany in the Rain



Rain was not going to damper her experience

Ladder Ball



Camp Favorite, maybe. Bean toss was up there as well.

Stacey and her Dad



Daddy and Daughter

Look Out



We can see 'them' coming

Well, there are numerous photos. Not all of them by any means but it should give you a glimpse of the trip.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I Am Back .... Sorta

I am checking in for about 30 mins tonight. I just got home. Today was a long day with packing up the camp, going into town one last time for shopping and then the drive home.

The vacation was cut a day short because my grandma did pass away while we were on vacation. She died very early Thursday morning. I stayed down there with the family to have more family time and vacation time due to the visitation and funeral not being till tomorrow (Sat). Maybe I should have left right away to be home with everyone else, but you have to make decisions in life and I chose to squeeze out the most vac time in Nashville and still be at the visitations and funeral.

Vacation was very good. I will do some posting on that soon. I will probably do it on Sunday but it may be Monday. It all depends on what occurs.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

I Am Out .....

in about 10 ours, i am headed out with the family.
we will be disconnected from the world most of the week

i am looking forward to go here tomorrow morning

this is where we will be hiding out at

i am looking forward to the following:

- family time
- decompressing
- reading

when i get back, i will be moving full steam ahead. in the fall we are going to be having the following changes at church:

- kids care club
- adult small groups ( i am leading )
- no hs sunday school class
- confirmation remix :)
- change in youth ministry

and if that is not enough plates spinning; we will be spinning a few more

thus, when i get back - rejuvienated - and we get the ball rollin', i will share about those things

have a good week

The 4th of July

The 4th of July weekend has been pretty good.

Friday

Slept in till 9 am
Ran Errands
Mowed the Lawn
Hung out with the Boys
Did a few hours of work
Had dinner outside
Fireworks with Church Friends

Saturday

Ran Errands - Prep for Vac
City Parade - Celebrating 200 years - family was in it
Prep for our vacation

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Car Repairs

i am now very poor ...... OUCH

and yes, i am questioning why !!!!!!

i don't use the car that much - i walk alot - we have another car.

why is it in america that we have adopted a lifestyle where we feel that we NEED two cars .... ugh !!!

i hate consumerism and i constantly fall into it :(

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Walking With The Dinosaurs

Watch The Promo


On Saturday, I took Jacob to the show. He has loved dinosaurs since he was born and has told us since he was the age of 3 that when he grows up that he is going to be a palentologist.

We went up to the Q in Cleveland to see the show. It was a good experience. We went with the Parks & Recreation Department. It was a little "pricy" however this was a special treat. Each one of the three kids are going to get a special treat this summer. It is one on one time and it is geared to what they like and they do not know what they are doing.

Jacob was pretty excited about the trip.

Jacob on the Bus to .......




Jacob Eating Cookie Dough Ice Cream beforehand



Outside of the Q



Pics from Show may come up later ......