Long Live the Baggage Guy!

As a short guy I don’t know what it feels like to be head and shoulders taller than everyone else. But apparently even tall people battle with fear. Here’s the story of the first king of the Hebrews: too-tall-Saul.

This article originally appeared on Bishop Roller’s blog.

When ISIS Kills

Last evening we were moved to read of the plight of followers of Jesus who suffer and die at the hands of ISIS.th[5]  This particular report came from a church official in country who plead for Christians everywhere to help them.  As we have often read over the last year, people who bear the name of Jesus are singled out and simply killed.  They bear the Arabic “Nun,” like English “N,” for Nazarene.  For no other reason than that, their heads are cut off.  What should we do when ISIS kills?  Here are a few things to consider.


Why the Church Is Going Global


Going global means serving God in kingdom and community. We are all familiar with the Great Commission that Jesus gave to His disciples and to us to go and proclaim the kingdom of God (Matthew 28:18–20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:45–47). We are also very familiar with Jesus’ invitation to us to come and find rest in His presence (Matthew 11:28–30).

Most Christians enjoy the presence of Jesus in community with other believers. In the community of faith, we find salvation, healing, deliverance and sanctification. In the community of faith, we are baptized, take communion, get married and bury our loved ones. The community of faith is one of the greatest blessings God has ever given to His people, but it is only half of the equation. The other half is the kingdom of God.


When You Don’t Know What God Is Up To


“Reverend, I need to talk to both you and your wife about something very important. Will you follow me into surgical?”

I meekly followed the surgeon to the room where my wife was being prepared for her mastectomy, but with every step came rising dread that I could barely stifle. The past six months of our lives had taught me to always expect the worst: first our miscarriage, then a break-in at our house, then Carol’s cancer diagnosis, the temporary loss of our health insurance, and the discovery that her cancer had started to spread. What was it this time? Had the cancer spread? What terrible news did God have in store for us?


A Heart Touched by God


“You better take a good look at those streets, boy,” the detective said, “’cause you’ll never see them again.”

I was only 16 and was unable to comprehend the concept of “never.” I did not understand what that meant.

How could I never see my family again? I wondered if he was just trying to scare me. My only defense was my attitude. With my hands tied behind my back, I was helpless. I stared at the detective with my eyebrows furrowed. Anger and hostility were my only refuge. I refused to cry.


Loving God … for D _ _ _ _ _ s

by Bishop David Kendall

It’s funny how we quibble over small things and scarcely give thought to huge things. We fuss about the style and color of ladder we will use to pick the fruit but forget about tending the trees.

Take loving God for example. According to Moses, citing the Eternal One, loving God is the one thing most necessary. Just as there is but one God, so there is but one response appropriate to this God — loving God with our all. What could be clearer? In fact, worship and many other gatherings for Israel began with a call to hear again the one thing most important: “Love the Lord your God with all…”
(Deuteronomy 6:4–5).

Yet, most of the time, God’s people tended to focus, obsess, argue and debate things of lesser significance. These things probably would come as delicious, beautiful and healing fruit if only God’s people tended the tree of loving God first and fully.


Light & Life Magazine

We get several copies of Light & Life Magazine delivered to us. But we’ll also be posting these articles on our blog starting next week. Or you can check it out by following the link at the bottom of this article.

This magazine introduced a new look and size last month. As if that wasn’t enough to risk alienating some faithful readers, we focused on a topic that’s the source of many heated arguments in our society — immigration.

Perhaps I seem like a muckraking journalist. I confess I’ve previously written for the Chicago Sun-Times, a tabloid newspaper with a history of sensationalism. My friends, however, will tell you that I tend to be a mild-mannered people
pleaser. I’m not exactly clamoring to get angry letters, email or phone calls.


Kiddie Korner

Sometimes our school days are a little wacky.  Like the days that we walk into the classroom and find a shoe on the wall, tables flipped upside down, our snack hiding, and a teacher wearing shorts on her head!  It can sometimes be challenging, but we enjoy finding creative ways to learn our letter each week.  We are almost to the last letter of the alphabet, which means we are almost finished with another school year!  Our last day of preschool is Thursday, May 14 and graduation will follow on Friday, May 15 at 7 p.m.


KK May '15 1 KK May '15 2

All of the staff at Kiddie Kollege would like to thank our church family for your help and support this year.  Many of you have made updates to our playground, fixed items inside, made repairs to our Space Maze, and helped 3 families with scholarships.  We appreciate you!!


Soccer And Life

by Rick Nier
My kids play soccer. We could have opted for an inside sport, but then there’s no chance of watching your kids play in the rain while you freeze on the sidelines. Who wants that?

Is that mud in our van ever going to come out? Probably not, but at least we watched 3 scoreless games. Hooray soccer!

Have you ever seen a litter of kittens all go after the same ball of yarn? If so, you know what watching 7 and 8-year old girls looks like. As they get older, it looks pretty much the same, just with less cute.

One of the things we start talking to all the players about, early and often, is to keep their heads up. A skill they must learn is how to kick the ball without looking at the ball. They can get so focused on kicking the ball in front of them that they become oblivious to everything else around them. Look up!

But once they learn how to maintain control of the ball while keeping their heads up, the game changes. They can see where the opposition is coming from. They can see where their help will come from. They can see a better view of what is happening all around them.

It changes the game.

I find myself taking this advice and using it in my daily life. Let’s be honest about this. Life can often be uncomfortable. It can leave you messy and with some scarring. Even as we age, life will treat us pretty much the same way life always has.

There is a truth to life that we teach our children early and often. Look up. When we take our gaze off of what we are doing, the game changes. We can see better where the opposition is coming from. We can look around for where our help is coming from. We get a better view of what is happening all around us.

Indeed, the game changes.

When we ask where our help will come from, we can echo the Psalmist, “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” ~Psalm 121:2


Pastor Paul’s Ponderings

Rural Ontario, Canada in the early 1900’s was a land that some saw as way out in the sticks and others saw as a land full of promise. As my great grandparents looked over the land, they saw potential. Farmland that could support a family – a place that with some hard work and determination, they could call home. There were three things missing that would make this place inhabitable for the Humphrey clan. They needed a general store, a school for the children, and most importantly, they needed a church.

My great grandma was never one to sit around and wish for something to happen, so she identified the needs and went to work.