50th Anniversary Celebration

A few weeks ago, on July 21, my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. On the next day (July 22), my siblings, spouses and other family hosted an open house in Fort Wayne. It was fun to stand back and watch as numerous friends came by and offered their congratulations to our parents…and there were a number of people who stopped by.

We moved to Fort Wayne when I began elementary school and lived in the same house until I graduated high school. We were members of the same church throughout that time and our family was pretty involved: youth group, Sunday School, children’s musicals, adult choir, Christmas and Easter pageants, various roles in church leadership and probably a few others not listed. Many of the relationships we had were through our church family. So, when the 50th celebration came around, many who attended were from the church.

I saw former Sunday School teachers, youth group leaders, friends of my parents and past choir members. I wish I could say I remembered everyone’s name (I didn’t) or even recognized everyone who came through. It was apparent that many of those friendships ran deep as many conversations were going and many lasted for a while.

Several family members were there which also made the day special.

A 50th Anniversary is definitely worth celebrating and it was cool to see the ripple effect of my parents’ marriage. Not only were children, grandchildren, a great-grandson, a brother, a niece and cousin present, there were countless relationships and friendships represented. It’s hard to quantify the influence they have had on people in Indiana, Oklahoma, all the places they have traveled plus the places their family members have lived.

It was a good day and a couple worth celebrating.

Here are a few pics from the day.

Mom & Dad, Uncle John & Aunt Ginny, Niece Emilee and Cousin Janet

My siblings

Just a few of the people that came

A not-so-great family selfie at dinner following Open House

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SOLID ROCK 2015

solid rock 15Each summer Cincinnati Christian University invites high school students to participate in a two-week event called SOLID ROCK. Students meet on the campus of CCU for a week of rehearsal to create and learn a program of ministry through music and the arts. During the second week, the group travels by charter bus to present their program at a different church every night.

My son and a few former students from WCC have participated in SOLID ROCK in the past and had a great experience. We have one student this year who is preparing to send her application in to be a part of this summer’s program.

If you are a high school student (or know a high school student) who enjoys the arts (singing, playing a musical instrument or the technical side of things), check out SOLID ROCK. It’s a great experience and also creates relationships that last beyond the two weeks together.

Information on the program and how to apply are on the Cincinnati Christian University website. Dates for 2015 are July 5-10 (on campus) and July 11-17 (on tour). The application packet is due March 16th. Go check it out.

Jesus in the Cheese Sauce

The following is a funny story to help you start your week. Those who teach youth group or Sunday School will find this especially humorous.

Last week I was listening to Kyle Idleman on a podcast from Southeast Christian Church. He gave a great message on the upcoming election and some suggestions for Christians on how we should be engaged in it. (You can view the message on the Sermons page of Southeast’s website.)

He told this particular story with the idea that, at times, Christians can force Jesus into everything we say and do. He even commented that when we are in Sunday School, if we don’t know the answer to a question, we should just say “Jesus.”  The answer “Jesus” will at least get you a sticker or gold star.

Here’s the story: He shared about a youth minister he served with in a previous ministry that wanted to talk to his students about ingredients to a good friendship. He decided to use macaroni and cheese as the object lesson and brought the ingredients on stage.

The first ingredient was butter, because butter makes everything better. Butter is kind and encouraging words.  Every relationships needs kind and encouraging words so we should have butter in our friendships.

The second ingredient was milk. Milk makes the macaroni and cheese healthy and milk makes us strong.  We need to have healthy friendships that make us stronger.

The final ingredient he talked about was the cheese sauce. So he had all the students together say “cheese sauce.” Then he had them repeat it louder and faster, “cheese sauce, cheese sauce.” Think about it for a second . . .  You got it, it’s Jesus!  Jesus is the ingredient every friendship needs.

While I certainly don’t argue we need Jesus in our relationships, sometimes we work too hard to find Jesus in the cheese sauce.  Hope that story made you smile.