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Great Week at MOVE #kingdomworker

IMG_0001Last week we took some of our high school students to the MOVE Conference held on Cedarville University’s campus. Christ In Youth has been producing weeks of conference for nearly 50 years and it seems like they just keep growing in number and getting better in quality.

This year’s theme was “You Are Here” and was based on the first six chapters of the Old Testament book of Daniel. Kind of a funny thing about the theme – anytime I saw the theme “You Are Here” I assumed it was about those of us who were going to be at MOVE. Once we got rolling in the week, it was obvious that the “You” was not a reference to “me” or to “us,” but to God. God was present with Daniel and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and He is present with us. That thread ran throughout the week of conference – You (God) Are Here!

Over the past few years, there has been an intentional move on the part of the coordinators of the week to challenge students to take what they experience at conference and live it out at home. They use the phrase #kingdomworker. All of us, no matter our age or location, can be kingdom workers. Several of our students accepted specific challenges to be kingdom workers at home. I’m excited to see how they work out those specific tasks in the coming weeks and months.

One of the benefits of MOVE (or any summer camp or conference) is time spent with students. We had two times each day that was focused on talking about and applying what was happening during the week. We also had free times and meals together, which provided times for conversation and getting to know each other.

On one particular day, the students had a chance to write encouraging words to each other. It was cool to sit back and watch them think through what they could write to encourage others in the group.
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There were several fun elements included throughout the week. In the book of Daniel, there is a unique event that involves King Nebuchadnezzar. The king has become quite arrogant, so God warms him that if he doesn’t change, God would humble him. Nebuchadnezzar ignores the warning so God caused him to live as an animal, complete with long nails that look like claws and long hair that grows to resemble feathers. You can read the entire story in Daniel 4. To highlight that event, students were encouraged to come to morning session in animal outfits. Here’s some of our group:
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It was a good week to see God move in the lives of students and adults and send us out to be kingdom workers. I’m looking forward to see the commitments made this week become a reality.

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Fatherless to Fatherfull

Last night my wife saw this video in a post on Facebook.  Since we have become involved with adoption, we feel like we are a part of a growing adoption community.  This video is such a great description of what adoption is.  The kids couldn’t be any cuter and their delivery is certainly on point.

As Father’s Day approaches, it is a great reminder of how God wants to be our “really” Dad.  Enjoy and share!

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Finish Our 1MISSION Project – Fill the Green Buckets

1Mission Finish UpWe are in the home stretch of our 1MISSION project. Our goal was to raise $4,000 to build a home for the Barajas family. We are just $900 away from reaching that goal. We have a couple more weeks to get to the goal.

One way you can be a part of our project is to SHARE our 1MISSION Campaign Page Link. Whatever social media outlet you use (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook), you can share the link to give people an opportunity to give and be a part of providing a home for this family. Here’s the link: https://my.1mission.org/t/2539/impact. Copy it and share it.

Another way to be a part of our project of course is to GIVE. For our Wilmington Church of Christ family, we have a practical way to do that. For the next few Sundays, we will have green buckets (see below) by the doors of our Ministry Center. As you enter or leave, you can drop extra change or dollar bills into the green buckets. Everything given in the green buckets will go toward our 1MISSION family.

Join in with us to reach our goal and provide a home for the Barajas family!

green bucket

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Home Stretch of our 1MISSION Project

1mission_2For the past few months, we have been working on raising $4000 for “our family” in Mexico – the Ortiz Barajas Family. We are now in the home stretch!

To date, we raised $2,500 through concession stands at our Upward Basketball League and at a karate tournament held at WCC. That amount also includes a gift from our KidCity kids. We have also had a couple of online donations which brings our total collected to $3,100 – we are just $900 from our goal.

We have a few more weeks to reach our goal and provide a home for this family in Mexico. Here are Two Things you can do:

1) Give To Our Online Campaign. All gifts that are given go directly toward providing a home for Barajas family through 1MISSION. If we have many individuals give online, we can reach our goal.

2) Share the Link to our Online Campaign. If you are on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other social media outlet, share the link to our campaign page. Let you friends, family and followers know how they can partner with us and with 1MISSION to provide a home for this family.

Here is the link to our page where you can donate and also share: https://my.1mission.org/t/2539/impact

If you are able, please give toward building a home for this family.  Take a minute to share it with your followers!

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Honoring our Grads 2015

Each year near the end of May, we take a few minutes at the start of our worship service to recognize our high school graduates. For the past few years I have put together a brief video of our high school seniors. It’s been a good way to get their faces in front of the congregations since many in our church family don’t know all the graduates personally (and another way for mom and dad to use those senior pictures!). I created the video on Animoto and love how easy it is to put together.

Congratulations to the class of 2015!

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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A Bump on the Road toward Adoption

Gotcha DayMy wife and I have been sharing the last few weeks about our plans to adopt again. We’ve shared our AdoptTogether page and have been blessed by numerous people who have given toward our adoption related expenses. Through a friend in Maryland we had connected with a birth mother who is due in June and were making plans to welcome a little boy into our family. As happens at times with adoption, we have hit a bump in the road. Birth mother has decided to parent.

This is part of the update that Cheryl put on our AdoptTogether page.

As I write, we have learned that our birth momma in Maryland has decided to parent, we continue to pray for her and that precious baby boy. When our adoption failed in 2013, we grieved, much like what we are doing now, but remember how God used that situation to prepare us for Max. We know that God is up to something even better than we could have ever imagined. He simply wants us to trust HIM though this journey. So we wait for the child that God wants to add to our family, and we trust HIS plan through the grief. We will update you as we know more, thanks for walking with our family thought this roller coaster and prayers are appreciated (I, Cheryl, hate roller coasters!).

We know that adoption is not always a smooth road and we were as prepared as we could be for any change of direction that might take place. We learned through adopting our son Max that God sees further and farther than we do, so we continue to trust Him. We have been so encouraged by those who have supported us financially and through their prayer and personal support.

Just a week or so ago I was listening to a podcast and the speaker was talking about worry. This is not a totally accurate quote, but carries what he said in his message: What God originates He orchestrates. So, we continue to trust Him as we continue down the road.

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Legend by Eric Blehm

LegendWhen I first heard about Fearless, I was not familiar with Eric Blehm. The back story of the book captured my attention enough that I wanted to read it. When Legend became available, I knew I wanted to check it out.

Before reading Legend, I have to admit I didn’t know a lot about the conflict in Vietnam. I knew some of the history behind it and that having American soldiers fighting in Vietnam was not supported by a lot of folks back at home. My dad, nephew and son had a chance to visit Southeast Asia a few years ago and they shared a little bit about their time there and what they observed. By and large, I only knew the basics about our involvement there. This book was in the very least an education of what many of our soldiers experienced while serving in this conflict.

Legend is the powerful story of Roy Benavidez and his heroic efforts to save fellow soldiers caught in a very dangerous situation. The explanation of his actions kept me engaged in the chapters that unfolded his desire to serve in the US military, the injuries he overcame in one tour of duty and his desire to participate in another tour. It was on this second tour where his heroism was on full display.

One thing that struck me as I was reading about Roy’s heroic actions was that they occurred the year I was born. My birthday fell literally days before the events in this book unfolded. I kept thinking that while I was just beginning my life in a town in Indiana, there were men laying down their lives to promote freedom halfway around the world.

A challenge in reading this book was all the military language that was used. There were names and nicknames and abbreviations for all types of things. While the author explained what a slick was and what SOG stood for, it was easy for me to get lost in the code names. Still, the book portrayed a very vivid picture of what took place in Vietnam.

As with most readers who would pick up this book, I tried to think how I would respond in a similar situation. Would I jump out of a helicopter in enemy territory to try to rescue my fellow soldiers or would I keep my head down and simply try to stay alive long enough to make it home from my tour? Roy’s actions show a man who put others before himself and literally put himself in harm’s way to try to get others to safety.

Legend gave me a renewed appreciation for men like Roy who serve selflessly and count it an honor to do so. What came out through the pages of his book was not just his heroism, but his humility. It’s a good story many would benefit from hearing.

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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