Wednesday, April 29, 2009
A friend who was at the recent STS conference offered a challenge: He is willing to match any and all donations up to $1,000 in order to print that many more charts. We don't yet know how many more $2,000 will print, but it should be at least half again the original number. So, here's how it works: For every dollar donated over the next three weeks for the chart printing, it will be matched with another dollar. So your one dollar becomes two, ten becomes twenty, one hundred becomes two hundred, etc.!
Are you up to the challenge? There are three ways to donate: the easiest is to call the office at (888)535-2300 and use your charge card; you can mail a check to P.O.Box 97, Bloomingdale, IL 60108; or you can go to ShorewoodBibleChurch.org and use the donate icon (be sure to designate it for "charts").
Thanks for helping get the message out!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
By the way, her younger sister, Emily, is developing into quite a writer. I have often declared the old maximum to be true: Grandchildren are God's reward for not killing your kids. The older they get, the more truth there is to that statement.
This morning our "Florida boys" called to talk to grandma (she gets all the attention, and deservedly so). Since I answered the phone, I got to talk to Nathan a bit before grandma got to the phone. She wants to go back to Florida soon to see Noah, now that he is a couple of months old. You can guess how all my airline travel miles get used! At least Bryant said, "Hi grandpa!"
They called to say they were going to start swimming lessons.
Cynthia will be babysitting for Hanna and Kayla later this week. It is nice to have at least a couple of the grans close by! Hard to believe they just turned seven last month!
At the moment I'm editing DVDs from last weekend's school conference. Mike Taylor is on my screen just now. His grandfather, Marvin Taylor, thinks he is something very special. I agree! Marvin is the only one I know who brags about his grandkids more than me!....well, there are others, too, but he is up there at the top of the list!
Just think: all this, and heaven too! No wonder my heart stays so full of thanksgiving. Just wanted ya'll to know.
Monday, April 27, 2009
The economy is beginning to more and more take a toll on folks. A good number of our regulars, some who have not missed a conference in years, were unable to be here due to hardships brought on because of the times. We need to stand together during these difficult days and encourage oneanother in every way possible.
Cynthia and I have been sick for over a week with really bad chest colds. I was able to teach five sessions on Saturday but there were times I didn't think my voice was going to hold out--not to mention my mind and legs! She had wonderful help from the ladies of Shorewood and they even made her go home Friday and Saturday nights before everyone else--my wife thinks she should be the last one out the door! It is wonderful to have friends who not only help with the work but look out for your best interests too.
This week will be filled with getting things back in order and caught up. I'll be in Detroit next week so have to get things done for that. Our kitchen is still not functional, so we continue to live out of one room (our bedroom). I'm actually getting used to it!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
The purpose of the weekend is to give our students and grads the opportunity to spend some time together--and for me to be able to have some "in person" time with them. The studies are focused on ministry issues--this year I'll be updating a study I did in '97 about the cultural shift currently upon us (what we termed "winter" based on Gen. 8's information about the seasonal cycles of a nation)--along with preaching through some of Paul's ministry charges in I & II Timothy. It'll be a really busy weekend.
My vision for this meeting has always been to provide it as a "gift" to our men. They are on the front lines of the spiritual battle, whether they are working through their own personal edification process or already in "the work of the ministry," and the opportunity to "come apart and rest awhile" is a needed refreshment. We all need to be "recharged" occasionally!
We provide a room for the two nights and enough for them to eat so they don't starve--actually, the ladies of Shorewood go all out in this department! They are working all this week getting things ready. So the men (and now, ladies too) only have to "get here."
This is a special weekend for me, personally. Of all the many things I am privileged to do, none is more dear to me or important to what I am doing than training men for the ministry. I have been committed to doing the work of the ministry Paul's way. That is why I will always be committed to local-church-based-edification and training. Everything we do, from the literature, audio/video media, radio, television, conferences to GSB, is designed in such a way as to enhance local ministries.
So it is a blessing to my heart to see our own local church so willingly and thoroughly involved in helping make this weekend a reality. It is our gift to these soldiers who are on the front lines of carrying the message of grace into the market places of the world!
In the midst of all this, we are also having a funeral. One of the last of our "old timers" went to be with the Lord last Saturday. Bob and Marge Price have been a faithful part of our assembly since the 1930's. Bob is the last of our men who served on the church board with J. C. O'Hair. He was 91 when he moved to heaven and active almost till the end. In fact, we had a men's fellowship Saturday morning and our fellows were asking "Where's Bob?" He hardly missed! We got the call during our time together that he had graduated to glory--so he was enjoying an ever better fellowship time!!
The memorial service will be Wednesday. "If you have never been to a grace believer's funeral, you haven't lived!" was the comment of a gentleman who has only known the grace message for a short time, after attending a memorial service. They are times of great rejoicing! So we'll have a Graduation Service for Bob's promotion to glory on Wednesday. Then we'll have a Graduation Service for GSB students on Satuday. PTL!
By the way, the conference will be broadcast live at ShorewoodBibleChurch.org. We begin Friday about 7:00 p.m. Saturday will be from 8:30 a.m. thru 10:00 p.m. and Sunday at 9:00 & 10:30 a.m and 6:00 p.m. Ya'll come!
Friday, April 17, 2009
Pay attention to the words--we need to absorb them. We can't begin to understand the Father's love until we begin to comprehend that the fists that struck our Saviour were more than those of some distant Roman soldier or Jewish leader, but they were ours too.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
One of the facinating things about this type of Internet site is that I don't actually have to do these things. In fact, I'm wasn't even aware of this particular YouTube channel until someone sent me an invite to join it! It is exciting to see the grace message get a grip on folks and then watch them getting busy putting the message out! You can never fully measure the ingenuity of grace believers! Its amazing!
I finished my taxes yesterday...bummer. This was a welcome "cheer-up"!
Monday, April 13, 2009
Afterward, we took Jody, Heather and the girls to lunch and enjoyed a great meal together at a restaurant Cynthia really likes. Then it was back to the church building for me to finish up our taxes and her to fill cd/dvd orders. The evening meeting was well attended too. We needed to sleep in today--but didn't! They are coming today to put in our kitchen counter top! Maybe we'll have a kitchen again by the end of the month! Patience is a virtue. Romans 5:3-5 is true.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Today is Noah's dad's birthday. David is now 32 years old. Hardly seems possible. He is the same age I was when we moved to Chicago and also has three sons--his brothers both had twins, so he and Stacy did something different! He wanted a riding lawn mower for his birthday--a sure sign he is over the hill! He's a great dad and if I could figure out how to download pictures to this site I could show you!
Happy birthday, David, even if you don't have time to read this!
Monday, April 6, 2009
Actually it started last night. When we left church the ground was already covered. A group of a dozen or so went to a local restaurant for a time of "food and fellowship" and by the time we left there (about 10 p.m.) it was torturous driving. Heavy, clinging snow everywhere. It is a beautiful winter wonderland (BUT it ain't winter)! Since we're on the spring time side of winter, I don't think I'll shovel it. It should melt off by tomorrow. Hey, it gives us something to talk about!
Today is our oldest son's birthday. Hard to believe but Rick turns 39 today! Bob Hope used to say he was the "space age"--39 and holding! "You don't want to get older than that," Hope said. You do begin to be conscious of your own limitations when you pass 39, so Cynthia and I want him to have a great day today while he can still feel young! He is a wonderful son, dad and family man, who makes us very happy--and doing an outstanding job in the ministry there in Mesa. We thank God for you, son.
Also, we just learned that Little Rick (our oldest grandson; Rick's son) had his bike stolen on Saturday. It was his prize and joy. He had picked it out after a long search, earned the money to purchase it and was enjoying the excitement of riding in various bike parks. To loose such a prized possession is a bummer for a thirteen year old--his first real experience with a bad happening.
After the incident, he got a ride home from the responding police officer. Now he is the talk of his neighborhood, having arrived home in the back seat of a police cruiser! Inquiring minds (and nosy neighbors!) want to know!! He is handled the experience well, it seems, even though now he is walking again. Double bummer.
I go to Detroit for TV taping tomorrow so today is a busy day getting ready for that as well as catching up on some things left from yesterday. Forgotten Truths moved to 9:00 p.m. on Saturdays over DirectTV (Ch: 367) and the response to the earlier time has been very good. What an opportunity! It has been amazing to see how the Lord has used this program--and how He has used His people to supply its needs. This has proven to be the "little program that could" and we thank God for those who are helping to make it a reality!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Losing is not a popular idea. It's definitely not an American concept. As General Patton famously remarked, "Americans love a winner. America will not tolerate a loser." That's no doubt one reason the current economic/political confusion is so perplexing. We seem to be losing--losing something tangible and intangible at the same time.
But God's grace teaches us that it is in our weakness that His strength is made perfect. In fact, II Cor. 13:4 declares that Jesus Christ "was crucified through weakness"--but not that He couldn't take care of Himself!
He did not die because He could not help it, He did not suffer because He could not escape. All the soldiers of Pilate's army could not have taken him, if he had not been willing to be taken. They could not have hurt a hair of His head, if he had not given them permission.
Truth be told--and what a blessed truth it is--He didn't want to be rescued. What seems to be the cluttered rush of events turns out to be the plan of god unfolding to bring salvation to the world. When evil seems to be winning, Christ calmly submits, knowing that in the end, God's will must be done.
And thus grace teaches us that in losing our power, our significance, our place in the lights, our fame and fortune and all that we hold dear, especially our reputation in the world, in giving all that up, our "losing with God" (as an old hymn puts it) wins for us a blessing the world can't match and does not understand.
Paul describes our ministry when he says of his own, "as unknown, and yet well known...as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing and yet possessing all things" (II Cor. 6:9, 10). I have often said that our influence far out weighs our apparent size!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Last evening I attended the graduation ceremony for one of our friends who graduated from the Greenawalt Learning Center and Master's Touch Program sponsored by Wayside Christian Ministries. It is a program for men whose lives have "gone over the cliff," as Brother Reynolds used to say. What a exciting time to see 19 men whose lives have been rescued and transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. They gave testimony to the victory that is available only in Him.
For me it was like a throw back to my early years in inner city mission work. How I loved those days! Sharing the gospel with dozens each day, preaching on the street, in bars and pool halls, teaching converts the message of grace and seeing the truth take root in their lives. Those were formative days in my young life--their impact still with me.
One interesting thing also happened last evening: at least half a dozen people asked me if i was on television! They see our programs, listen to our radio broadcast and through Don have been studying some of our DVDs. Never know where things go--or who is watching! The good news is that the Body of Christ belongs to Him! He takes care of His own. We just labor in our small part of the field.
So, yesterday was a full day. Today promises to be the same. Praise the Lord!