Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fellowship- Heartland South Picnic

Last night I had the opportunity to hang out with a bunch of good people at the Heartland South Picnic at Powell Gardens.  If you have not been to Powell yet this year, please go.  It's in great shape and check out the artwork around the main building.  If you live in Lee's Summit, you might recognize the artist.
Anyway, last night I sat with several pastors new to the district.  It's exciting to enjoy fellowship with people you know from elsewhere that are now serving in the same area.  It's also good to see friends that you don't often have a chance to see every month.  I hope and pray the district continues to provide spaces and places where we can meet informally and enjoy a meal and time together.  The music provided by Woods Chapel was great, as was the food.  Thanks to all who attended and to those who were unable to be there, you were missed.
Remember to spend time with good friends.  We all seem so busy that it's nice to take a few moments and be in fellowship.  And thanks to Cody and Sharon.
Go in peace and go with God.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This Is the Day

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.    Psalm 118:24

This is the day, This is the day,
That the Lord has made, that the Lord hath made.
Let us rejoice, let us rejoice
And be glad in it and be glad in it.
This is the day that the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
This is the day, this is the day that the Lord hath made.
United Methodist Hymnal #657

Go in peace and go with God.

Monday, July 26, 2010

VBS 2010

Vacation Bible School kicked off last night and what a night it was for the kids and adults.  We are using Group's Sailing the High Seas curriculum.  The set is amazing.  The leaders are great.  And the kids are having an absolute blast!  It's so good to see all the kids again in VBS.  I don't get to interact much with children and youth except for Summer Camp and VBS.  It's a true joy to share and experience the Word of God with them and hang out during Bible time.  Thank you to Geoff, Carla, Rocky, Barb, Toni and Robin  Thanks to the youth, the parents and all the other leaders that I didn't mention.  You are all great!!!!  Thanks much for all you do.
Go in peace and go with God.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Jude Martinez Update

Today I thought I would repost a note from Sara (Jude's mom) from his caringbridge site.  This entry should bring smiles, tears and joy.  There are good people in the world and when we ask in faith, it is received.

Good morning Friends and Family!

Jude is doing fabulous! This has been the best stay yet - probably because I know it's our last!!! Jude has continued to drink enough on his own that he is only connected to his IV pole while he's getting his chemo. Usually if he wasn't drinking enough then he'd had fluids continually running whenever he's not getting meds to make sure he stays hydrated. But since he's doing so good he is free most of the day - which allows him to bounce around the room like a monkey. Yesterday him and I were racing through the hall with him on the tricycle. I remember a time when I'd see other kids doing that outside our room and wishing Jude felt that good. I am just so grateful for where we're at in treatment. God is awesome!

I wanted to share with you a really neat thing that happened to us. It's no secret that Jude loves superheros, especially Batman. And since we've had nothing but time on our hands here at the hospital Jude has really developed a love for Legos and building the sets (he's actually very impressive to watch - he can build things all by himself by following the directions). Well he's gotten all sorts of Lego sets - all except for one - Batman. The reason is because Batman Legos, either individual pieces or complete sets, are a collectors item since they are extremely hard to come by. Apparently what happened is Marvel was bought by Disney during Lego's production of the Batman series which caused Lego to have to stop producing the sets mid-way through. This caused the price of these sets to skyrocket! Sets were starting in the $300's! And of course what Lego set do you think Jude wanted most of all???? You guessed it. Now, like most other parents of a kid with cancer I'll give him most anything he wants - but I haven't lost my mind completely so there is no way I'm spending $300+ on Legos that will probably eventually be sucked into the vacuum. But then again I think I got asked for Batman Lego's everyday (multiple times a day) for the past couple of weeks - maybe even the past month or two! I've said to him "Jude I don't think there are anymore" and he replied "yes there are, just go to". (how he knows '.com" is a wonder to me) - but he's a smart little guy - I can't get anything past him. I finally told him that he's going to have to ask Santa for them and that Santa might not even be able to make them anymore (and Santa was going to write back of course and say sorry it's not possible). He was so desperate he was including the request in his prayers at night. And one night he wished on The Wishing Star (like in the movie The Princess and the Frog) for Batman Legos - I mean C'MON!!!!!

So my wonderful, wonderful mother-in-law got to work. For those of you who don't have the absolute pleasure of knowing my mother-in-law, Mary, you have to know that she gets things done. I love her for many reasons - and this is one of them. And I know that she would also want me to include that it's not her, but Heavenly Father who allows it to happen - which I believe also, but He definitely uses her as a tool in the equation! She must have a good 'in' with Him :) haha.

So Mary tries contacting Lego and they respond saying there are none to be had and the lady she talked to said that if she had any in her own personal stash she would give them to us but she doesn't even have them. That's when she explained the whole Disney buying Marvel, etc. So then Mary emailed as many other companies she could. Finally ONE company came to the rescue! It's a company that sells on Amazon, and who I'd seen before when I was checking out the crazy prices for myself on Amazon. They sent Jude a box that was labeled "Open me at the hospital", so we did just that. Clint and I knew they were Legos but surely thought they wouldn't be Batman ones. So Wed when we were leaving for the hospital Jude made sure that we had that box! Usually when we park in the garage I leave most of our stuff in the car and then once we're get a room up on the floor then I'll go back to the car and bring up all of our stuff - but Jude insisted that the box come to clinic with us!

So when I finally open the box I think both Jude's and my jaw dropped open! They so graciously gave almost ALL of the individual figurines (I mean, they start at like $30 a piece! - I'm pretty sure one of those start at $50!), 3 different Batman automobile sets, 2 large Star Wars sets, some Star wars figurines, and a HUGE bag of misc pieces! These generous people gave him hundreds of dollars worth of Legos!!!!!!! In a market where people are greedy and try and get ridiculous amounts of money FOR TOYS - these people gave Jude something he wouldn't have gotten otherwise. He played with those ALL DAY Wed and ALL DAY yesterday - I'm not exaggerating! So, here is the link to the Henchman's Bricks storefront on Amazon:

If you need Legos of any kind please consider buying from them! Or if you know of anyone who is looking for Legos please suggest them! I feel like this is the least I can do for their generosity!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Friday and weekend!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ministry- Serving 2

This past week Grace UMC in Lee's Summit hosted a group from First UMC Omaha.  They were serving at Harvesters and several other local mission sites.  Mission is what goes on outside the walls of the church.  Ministry takes place within the Body of Christ.  Some churches describe mission as evangelism which is fine too.  Mission for many of us, especially at Grace, is us going out into the community and serving those in need in the name of Jesus Christ.  There are several mission endeavors that Grace has been apart of this past year.  They include our monthly connection to ReStart. We also work monthly and sometimes weekly with Lee's Summit Social Services.  There are numerous other agencies we partner with and also hope to partner with in the future. One of my favorite places to serve is Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City.  Particularly, the Cherry Street location is a great place to serve.  Whether you serve as part of a mission group or you and your family give it a try.  You never know when God is going to act or bless.
Go in peace and go with God

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ministry- Serving 1

This morning as I sit here at Camp Galilee, I am thankful for those willing to spend time in service of God.  This week, there are 58 campers at Ultimate Extreme Jr. High Camp.  This week we are talking about "Call to Ministry" and "Heroes of the Bible".  It's a pretty big week of camp.  Last year we maxed the camp out with over 200 of us.  I think we are just under 200 this year.  None of what we do here at Galilee would be possible if it weren't for God loving Christians willing to give up a week of their life and come here to be counselors.  On the Jr. High side we have twelve counselors, six male and six female.  They are each paired with another counselor and then assigned cabins.  They help teach and lead the week here.  They are spiritual guides for all of the campers.  They are simply an inspiration.  So this week I say thank you to Katy, Andrea, Rachel, Erica, Andy, Mike, Rocky, Milton, Geoff, Tommy, Kyle, Kelly and Lynsey for serving in ministry this week as camp counselors.  God bless you all!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ministry- "Leap of Faith"

At some point we probably all take a leap of faith.  A leap of faith is one of the times when we are not really sure which way to go.  Or maybe, we know which way to go and we struggle to proceed.  For some though, we take such a leap it's as if we are jumping off a cliff.  A leap of faith implies that God is there to catch us and that we are moving forward pursuing God's purpose, not our own.  To grow spiritually means we are moving, doing and being.  Just moving doesn't get you there, as just doing or being doesn't either.  Faith must be accompanied with works.
The leaps we take help us move beyond our current understandings and views on things, especially how we fit into God's plan for us and this world.  It's when we are able to go beyond what we thought possible that we can truly see God at work.  For me this has occurred numerous times.  A few examples personally are mission trips and summer camp.  Those are settings where I in a very real and personal way have experienced many leaps of faith.  In the local church there are also man leaps of faith.  Whether it be in worship, in small groups or in mission, I am never prepared to experience the wonders that God has in store for us when we take that leap.  It's amazing!  So, will you take that next leap of faith?  If you don't want to take the leap alone, find another Christian to jump with you.  Don't go the journey alone.
Go in peace and go with God.