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Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Night at Nationals

Midland's top team, "Messengers," is seeded in 5th place as the two days of round-robin quizzing conclude. "Redemption" seeded 9th...Saturday morning begins the elimination rounds...a long, stress-filled but blessed day watching these students...from the top team to the bottom, exhibit great attitudes, good skill, and overall demeanor. Gonna be fun!

Here's some pics from the the afternoon I was able to take a two-hour walk/hike...found a trail that went down to the river...beautiful stuff...

Fresh Report from Nationals

Yesterday was the first day of round-robin quizzing at the National Bible Quiz Tournament held in Wisconsin Dells. I quizmastered all day, had a couple equipment glitches, a couple minor controversial decisions, and overall a fantastic day of competition.

My over-three-decades involvement in quizzing, stemming back to my days with Kansas City Youth For Christ, have not lessened my enthusiasm for and admiration of quizzers. It is intense, requires disciplined study, and working as a team. Can it get off balance? Of course, but the pluses far outweigh the alleged minuses.

Most important, hundreds of teens are memorizing great chunks of the infallible, authoritative, powerful Word of God. Our continued prayer is that the Word memorized becomes the Word applied.

Today is another gruelling session of round-robin quizzing; placements will be revealed later this Friday evening, and tomorrow begins the elimination tournament, to conclude Saturday night with the championship quizzes between the top three teams.

Here are some pics of the journey...

                                Enroute hundreds of bugs decided to make an impact on our
                                      charter bus...some of the younger students decided to snack:
                                    Chula Vista Resort and Conference Center where Nationals takes place...
                          among other groups using the facility is the Wisconsin Association of Homicideestigators :)

                        At one of our stops we found this:

       One of my best friends (and current pastor and director of God's Mountain Camp) Johnny Williams with Aaron Thomas, son of Ed Thomas, Parkersburg, Iowa football coach gunned down in 2009...Aaron shared his story on Wednesday evening; and Chris, the police chief gave a dynamic challenge Thursday morning..Out of tragedy, glory...

                            Students begin to assemble for the opening rally Wednesday night...
                   One of my long-time buddies from Rhinelander, Wi...Hey, not only am I okay with his hair, I wish it were mine :)...well, maybe not...but don't let your own hang-ups influence the way you touch...or don't touch...lives for the King

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thursday Tozer Tidbit of Truth

"Almighty God, just because he is almighty, needs no support.
The picture of a nervous, ingratiating God fawning over men to win their favor is not a pleasant one; yet if we look at the popular conception of God that is precisely what we see.
Twentieth-century Christianity has put God on charity. So lofty is our opinion of ourselves that we find it quite easy, not to say enjoyable, to believe that we are necessary to God . . .
I fear that thousands of younger persons enter Christian service from no higher motive than to help deliver God from the embarrassing situation His love has gotten Him into and His limited abilities seem unable to get Him out of." A. W. Tozer

Report from Bible Quiz Nationals

2011 Champion Quiz Team "CLAY"
Wednesday night officially kicked off the Bible Quiz Fellowship 2012 National Tournament at Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells. A beautiful facility with hundreds of teens and adults from all over America kicking off round robin competition today (Thursday) and Friday leading into the elimination rounds on Saturday.

But it's not about statistics and trophies. It's about honoring the Living Word even as we compete over the written Word.

Last night the proverbial pin would not have been heard dropping as Aaron Thomas, son of Ed Thomas, spoke to us. Ed was the football coach at Parkersburg (Iowa) who was gunned down by a former player in 2009. All of us were challenged by Ed's life and legacy.

Aaron is a former Bible quizzer. He and I laughed as we spoke about his national's teams, ahem, 17 or so years ago. A now-NFL player (coached by Ed were three other NFL players) was on that team...all I remember is how BIG they were!

After all these years of being involved, and being around several men and women who have been invovled almost as many years as I...this quote that came to my in-box this early morning resonates:

“In Jesus’ simple command to ‘make disciples,’ he has invited every one of his followers to share the life of Christ with others in a sacrificial, intentional, global effort to multiply the gospel of Christ through others. He never intended to limit this invitation to the most effective communicators, the most brilliant organizers, or the most talented leaders and artists — all the allegedly right people that you and I are prone to exalt in the church. Instead, the Spirit of God has empowered every follower of Christ to accomplish the purpose of God for the glory of God in the world. This includes the so-called wrong people: those who are least effective, least brilliant, or least talented in the church.

Building the right church, then, is dependent on using all the wrong people.”— David Platt

If you are not familiar with Ed Thomas, or want to refresh your memory, I do recommend the book written about this incredible man:

The David Platt quote is taken from the following:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Feed the hungry; if necessary use food."

If you are willing to think; the title of this entry makes as much sense as "Preach the Gospel, if Necessary Use Words." Usually credited to Saint Francis, ain't' necessarily so.

Sounds really sweet, but if all you do is "let your little light shine," expecting people to somehow reason that you are a follower of Christ...well, best they will think you are a Mormon, because they have better public relations than the family of God.

As Mark Galli writes,

"Preach the gospel; use words if necessary’ goes hand in hand with a postmodern assumption that words are finally empty of meaning. It subtly denigrates the high value that the prophets, Jesus, and Paul put on preaching. Of course, we want our actions to match our words as much as possible. But the gospel is a message, news about an event and a person upon which the history of the planet turns.”

The Great Commission instructs us to go and teach, not go and hint...

Monday, April 23, 2012

 An early departure for Crossroads Correctional allowed me to drive east into the sun.

This Monday morning's sunrise was spectacular.

My iphone doesn't do it justice, but here's some through the windshield (very carefully) pics:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Average is Just a Label

God loves average people.

God loves below average people.

In fact, the limitation put by Scripture seems to be on what we'd deem "above average"...."not many wise, not many noble" etc...

Thought of that as I did NOT laugh at the following.


I know I'm too often guilty of appreciating only "above average" my family, in my ministry, in my life.

Loving "if"...or loving "because"...or loving "when"...

Instead of loving, period.

Confusing labels with worth.

Scores on tests with value.

Stupid me.

Thankfully I can call upon the Lord to help me...

Keller Konvicts!

This from Tim Keller took me into Spirit's woodshed for a while...

Your humor has a lot to do with how you regard yourself. Many people use humor to put down others, keep themselves in the driver’s seat in a conversation and setting, and to remind the hearers of their superior vantage point. They use humor not to defuse tension and put people at ease, but to deliberately belittle the opposing view. Rather than showing respect and doing the hard work of true disagreement, they mock others’ points of view and dismiss them without actually engaging the argument.
Ultimately, sarcastic put-down humor is self-righteous, a form of self-justification, and that is what the gospel demolishes. When we grasp that we are unworthy sinners saved by infinitely costly grace it destroys both our self-righteousness and our need to ridicule others. This is also true of self-directed ridicule. There are some people who constantly, bitterly, mock themselves. At first it looks like a form of humility, or realism, but really it is just as self-absorbed as the other version. It is a sign of an inner disease with one’s self, a profound spiritual restlessness.
There is another kind of self-righteousness, however, that produces a person with little or no sense of humor. Moralistic persons often have no sense of irony because they take themselves too seriously, or because they are too self-conscious and self-absorbed in their own struggles to be habitually joyful.
The gospel, however, creates a gentle sense of irony. Our doctrine of sin keeps us from being over-awed by anyone (especially ourselves) or shocked, shocked by any behavior. We find a lot to laugh at, starting with our own weaknesses. They don’t threaten us any more because our ultimate worth is not based on our record or performance. Our doctrine of grace and redemption also keeps us from seeing any situation as hopeless. This groundnote of joy and peace makes humor spontaneous and natural.
In gospel-shaped humor we don’t only poke fun at ourselves, we also can gently poke fun at others, especially our friends. But it is always humor that takes the other seriously and ultimately builds them up as a show of affection. 'We are not to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.' (C.S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory”)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

God Called A Prayer Meeting

Midland Ministries attempted to provide a parent/teen seminar Saturday.

Though we had planned, prayed, publicized, and more...there were many activities in conflict, we did not have a big-name (or even small name) "draw", and we did not expect a large crowd for this free event.

We weren't even too surprised when in zero...showed.

So we laughed together, recognized a lot of probable reasons, and decided to have a time of prayer for our overall ministries.

At least we thought we decided...

It became evident that God had decided long ago that this Saturday the staff of Midland Ministries would pray together.

It was a precious time, a personal time, and profound time...and I, for one, am eager to see how God answers our collective groanings, requests, and pleas.

No one kept a clock on the length of the prayer meeting..but I am convince we did not call it.

The One to whom we pray...well....predestined it...

I snapped this (we had four teens join us)

Just the Two of Us...

Jane and I got away for a while to the City Market in Kansas City...then food shopping. Fun times goofing around and trying to forget a bunch of "stuff" going on around us...sort of a "rest and recreation" from some serious combat, dealing with cracked and cracking marriages, poor choices, and thankful we have each other to be real with, to be transparent with, to be in love with...I am a blessed, blessed man...

(Saturday)Morning Has Broken

Chilly morning, but well worth it as the dog and I jogged (well, that's what I call it) around and watched this glorious sunrise...made me think of a song from back in the day...way back in the day...(Some of you may know this was sung by Cat Stevens...a British musician who later converted to's his website if you want to take a look...and pray for him...CLICK HERE)

Explicit Gospel

I've pushed The Explicit Gospel more than any other book.

It is that good.

It challenges.

It convicts.

It confirms.

It spawns thought.

It spawns prayer.

It spawns confession.

And I double-dog dare you to read it. One more time...the challenge...purchase it by clicking on the link at the bottom, and if you don't like it I'll personally refund your include shipping.

Here are a few more tidbits, starting with a quote Chandler includes from Charles Spurgeon:

"You cannot induce them to come; you cannot force them to come by all your thunders, nor can you entice them to come by all your invitations. They will not come unto Christ, that they may have life. Until the Spirit draws them, come, they never will, or can."

"The gospel is news, not advice or instruction..."

"We are never, ever going to make Christianity so cool that everybody wants it."

"The gospel of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, then, is not an invitation to moralism; it is an invitation to real transformation."

"It is astounding how many evangelicals are not doing Christianity at all; they're doing the Levitical priesthood. They're trying to offer God good behavior so He'll like them."

Get this book!

He Wasn't Lost!

Years ago I was asked to speak at a Senior's Luncheon. The date happened to be April 1.

So I thought, how about a sermon on "Stupid Things Christians Say."

Then I, but there is so much material!

Then I limited it to three commonly used phrases.

The first two were, "Lord, we just pray..." and "Lord, please be with..." If you don't "get" why those are rather silly phrases, we'll talk about that later.

The third was, "I was 16 when I found Jesus..."

Guess what? He wasn't lost...we were!

Thought of that as I read this:

"A true Christian is not a sheep who has gone looking for the Good Shepherd and found a man who seems to fit the bill, but someone who has been looked for and found by God."
Gerald Bray, God is Love

Friday, April 20, 2012

Prison to Purchases to Party

Friday was a day of contrasts; started out with me driving to Cameron, Mo to the Crossroads Maximum Security Prison where I will be ministering regularly in a variety of contexts. Spent a few hours there discussing ministry with the chaplain (a believer, which is not always the case). Very excited and thankful for this ongoing opportunity to build relationships with the inmates...90 percent of whom will never be released...

Then returned home to go with rest of the family to drop Janelle off at a friend's house where she has a social engagement with a young man. I'm not quite cleaning my rifle, but...

Then Jane, Jacob and I went to the huge home-school curriculum thing at KCI Expo...ran into several friends, to include one from Minnesota!

Then we took Jacob to Chucky Cheese's to play the times...

Closed out our journey by dining at Golden Corral. Outstanding, very busy, and ate too much.

Everyone is pretty tired; but a blessed day.

Here's some shots,
                          No Walls at this Maxy, but there is a death (wired) fence...1400 plus inmates

                                           Coaching Mom...

Tough Day in Prison

Yesterday I had the distinct privilege of attending a Victims' Rights Recognition event at Western Reception,Diagnostic, Treatment here in Saint Joseph. This is three prisons behind one set of walls...

Over one hundred inmates and over fifty staff (first time I met the warden...) attended. Many of the inmates had to attend; several attended on their own initiative.

I was asked to open in prayer; an inmate-band played a number, and then a man who works in the maintenance department of the prison (not an inmate) spoke.

First a video of his 17 year old daughter was shown. He was in an adjacent hallway. I went out and asked if I could pray with him; he gratefully said "yes." I had read his story before. He has never seen the video...

After the screening of the video, which showed a vibrant, beautiful young lady enjoying life with friends and family, he came in and spoke....mostly monotone...took him quite a while to gain composure to speak...and he then told the audience of the murder of his 17 year old daughter in 1997 here in St Joseph.

The details are horrific, not "only" in her multiple-stabbing slaughter, but in the fact that her then 13-year-old brother discovered her body...

His point was that though the murder viciously ended his precious daughter's life, the dreadful act dramatically and permanently impacted the brother, the parents, the friends.

Like all sin, criminal acts are not done in a vacuum.

He did share, at the end, how God had brought him to a point of forgiveness.

This was a "non-religous" event..

Then a woman spoke about the shooting death of her 21 year old son. Innocent bystander gunned down in a crossfire between two carloads of punks. Happened four years ago, no arrests made to date.

She said she wanted justice, an eye-for-an-eye, and she wasn't ready to forgive.

The program had already gone much longer than planned; the leader cut out a few things and gave me a few moments to close it out.

Throughout the event the proverbial pin-drop would not have been heard...

I prayed as I approached the podium, and then took just a few minutes to remind the inmates that though the event was focused on "victims," that the prisoners themselves were not victims.

They had done the crime; they had to do the time.

Sure, there may have been contributing factors, but "The fool has dug a pit, and fallen into the pit which he has dug."

Personal responsibility...

Ceasing to use the greatest obscenity in our land, "It's not my fault."

A few glared at me; many nodded in agreement.

I expressed my condolences to the parents of the murder victims, and reminded the woman that forgiveness does not mean the repercussions of the act are erased. Forgiveness and justice can go hand-in-hand.

And I wrapped it up by speaking of the One who obediently volunteered to become the Ultimate "Victim" by wrapping Himself in our sins to pay the price that we should have paid.

It was a hard, amazing afternoon.

Gospel Story Line

"Out of the cross comes the resurrection.

Out of weakness comes real strength.

Out of repentance and admitting you are weak comes real power.

Out of giving away and serving others comes real strength.

Out of generosity and giving your money away comes real wealth.

That's the gospel story line."
                                            Tim Keller

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sort of John 3.16

Reminds me of a bit of a (sarcastic?) twist on John 3: 16...

God so loved the world that He did not send a committee...

Tribute to Chuck

As I type all reports indicate Charles Colson is near transferring out of his earthly body into the presence of his Lord Jesus Christ.

I've met Chuck twice (and will re-meet him one day in glory).

The first time was in 1978 or 1979 when the movie "Born Again" (based on his spiritual autobiography) was released. Kansas City Youth For Christ, of which I was a staffer, was involved in the Kansas City premier of the movie. I met him in the theater and then, as prearranged, I went with him into Leavenworth Federal Prison where I shared my testimony before he spoke. It was a privilege and an honor.

We had dinner together before going into the "Big Top", and during our conversation he asked me to consider
joining his staff. I was honored, told him I'd pray about it. A few days later I let him know God was directing me to stay at YFC. Again, this was in 1978 or '79.

Fast forward at least 20 years. I re-met Colson in Buffalo, New York at a conference.

During a brief conversation I said something like, "I know you won't remember this, but I first met you in Kansas City...we ministered in the Big Top together, and I was so honored because you asked me to consider joining your staff..."

Colson grinned and confessed, "Gotta tell you, Jack, back in those days I asked almost anybody with a pulse to join Prison Fellowship!"

Oh well.

All of his books are great, but Loving God is my favorite. If you've not read it, you should, and you can order it below and be a help to this home missionary who trusts God to provide through His people as the Hager's subsist on missionary support.

And here's a brief interview Colson gave a few years ago:

Spectacular Sunrise

Photos taken with any type of camera can't do sunrises justice...but my early morning walk/jog allowed me to see the following and I snapped with my phone..."His mercies are new every morning"

All Life-Changing Love is Substitutionary Love

Confirming insight from Tim Keller:

“Jesus didn’t have to die despite God’s love; he had to diebecause of God’s love.

 And it had to be this way because all life-changing love is substitutionary sacrifice.

Think about it. If you love a person whose life is all put together and has no major needs, it costs you nothing. It’s delightful. There are probably four or five people like that where you live. You ought to find them and become their friend. 

But if you ever try to love somebody who has needs, someone who is in trouble or who is persecuted or emotionally wounded, it’s going to cost you. 

You can’t love them without taking a hit yourself. A transfer of some kind is required, so that somehow their troubles, their problems, transfer to you.”

— Timothy Keller
King's Cross
(New York, NY: Dutton, 2011), 141-142

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ashamed and Disappointed

These are some tough words to read, but honest words, from TIM CHALLIES (who I heartily recommend) I wonder how often I'd even pray against the horror were it not written down in my prayer list? I post on it frequently, I've adopted two children that could have been slaughtered, I've spoken at Crisis Pregnancy events, I'm vocal about how I can't sing "God Bless American" without thinking "Why?" because of legalized murder...but am I doing enough? There is now therefore no condemnation; but I challenge you, as I challenge myself, to read:

"Last week in Louisville I ended up staying in a hotel that was a little bit off the beaten path, so to speak, just outside the downtown core, out where most of the storefronts were boarded up and only fast food restaurants and strip clubs kept their lights on at night. Every time I walked from my hotel to the conference or from the conference to the hotel, I had to pass by an abortion clinic, a building with a sign that declared it a “Women’s Surgical Center.”

One morning, as I walked by that clinic, passing directly in front of it, I saw that three or four people were just outside, holding signs and passing out pamphlets. I was taken aback; here in Ontario it has long since been declared illegal to protest outside a clinic. Yet there they were, quietly and peacefully protesting.

Standing a little bit apart from those people were two men and a woman, each wearing an orange vest emblazoned with “Escort.” These three people were escorting young women from the parking lot to the clinic, walking them past the protestors, all of whom were behaving peacefully; two were seated on the sidewalk praying, the others were calling to the women and saying, “Please don’t kill your baby. You don’t have to do this!” One young woman walked by them—she couldn’t have been older than sixteen or seventeen—with her mother beside her, her head down. She quietly took a pamphlet and disappeared inside. The people on the sidewalk kept praying. A moment later another woman, perhaps in her twenties or thirties, passed by the protestors and went inside as well.

All of that unraveled in the few seconds it took for me to pass by—a very powerful few seconds. I was shocked and gravely disappointed—shocked again, shocked anew, that we allow this to happen, that our society not only allows this to happen, but is actually complicit in this genocide. And I was so gravely disappointed in myself, so ashamed. I felt no animosity toward those young women. They were doing only what they have been instructed to do, what parents and friends and guidance counselors and maybe even pastors have told them is the happiest outcome. “It’s just like having a tumor removed. It’s just a small surgery; it will be over before you know it. It’s better this way.”

That little girl who went in there was a sinner behaving like a sinner, an unbeliever acting out of unbelief, desperate to rid herself of the evidence of her sin or perhaps the evidence of a sin committed against her. She was wrong, of course, and will have to give an account for what she has done; but I harbor no ill-will for her. 

It is me I was disgusted with and me I was ashamed of. 

Disgusted that I could watch that and not do something, ashamed that I have no idea what to do and that I have done so little. I don’t even know what I ought to do. Cry out to God and ask him to intervene? Demand answers from God as to how he can allow this to go on? What do you do, how do you react, when you see someone about to commit murder?

I, we, do nothing. We feel disturbed, we feel bad, we feel guilty and ashamed, and we walk away. This atrocity has been going on all around me all of my life and I do so very little about it. I stopped for a moment, felt revulsion, and then went on my way and ate breakfast.

A couple of years ago I was reflecting on the sins that we, as Christians in this day and this time, tend to tolerate. What I said about abortion then still rings true.
Christians hate abortion. We believe that God is the creator of life and believe that life begins at the very moment of conception. We believe that each life is a gift, whether it is a life that is wanted or unwanted by the mother, whether it is a life that will be “normal” or one that will be marked by profound disability. All humans are created in the image of God and, therefore, all life has intrinsic value. And if all of this is true, then of course we despise abortion and long to see it abolished. We hate it so much that we do…well…what do we do? If we are honest with ourselves we have to admit that most of us do not do much of anything.
What have you done in the past week, the past month, the past year to actively combat abortion? If you are like me, you’ve done very little. You may have prayed that God will change hearts and change the laws of the land. And this is good, of course. If there is to be any change, prayer will be instrumental. You may have spoken to some friends or neighbors or family members, trying to convince them of the value of life. But very few of us have done anything substantial, anything that could possibly one day appear in a history text. Few of us move beyond the “I hate it” stage into some form of active combat.
If we imagine Christians a century in the future, or perhaps two centuries, how will this kind of action, or inaction, appear to them? What will the verdict of history be? How will we be able to explain our complacency? They will read our words, all perfectly preserved in digital media, and they will know that we wrote and spoke about our hatred for abortion and our desire to see it abolished. But will they see actions to go along with all of those words? Maybe we are just waiting for it to die a natural death.
They may judge us harshly for this. They may have every right to."

So Many Unvoiced Comments

Not sure how old this is, but, wow, how many things I could say, but I'll let you read without my unnecessary commentary:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tree Fort

Janelle started it, Sarah Williams later helped, then they called in the big gun, Luke Williams...and Jacob had yet another birthday present. The tree is in our back yard..the joys of country living!

                           Jane and I frequently walk down our road to Bethel has
                              a hill with quite the incline; the foto does not do it justice...

Smelling Good?

2 Corinthians 2.15 "For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing."

ATTN: Evangelist-types

Matt Chandler writes this in The Explicit Gospel. It is incredibly important...Too many "invitations" (regardless of motivation) are manipulative, falsely based, and result in far too many false converts who discover horribly the reality of Matthew 7.21ff.

Here is Chandler's quote:

"Knowledge of and belief in hell - as important as they are - are unable to create worshipers. Yet misunderstanding this reality is historically how the doctrine of hell has been abused and misused by so many men in the name of God.

You cannot scare anyone into heaven. Heaven is not a place for those who are afraid of hell; it's a place for those who love God. You can scare people into coming to your church, you can scare people into trying to be good, you can scare people into giving money, you can even scare them into walking down an aisle and praying a certain prayer, but you cannot scare people into loving god. You just can't do it. You can scare them into moral acts of goodness. But that's not salvation. It's not even Christian." (emphasis added)

Again, I question not anyone's motives. Only God knows those...I do call them out on methods. The invitation "method" has not been around that long in the history of the church. I have a difficult time imagining Jesus, Paul, or Peter saying, "Now bow your heads and close your eyes..." Again, there are times when such an "invitation" is valid, primarily when so led by Spirit of God...and if there are adequate counselors available, and other variables...

Jesus always made it far easier to say "no" than to say "yes" to His demands. I remind you that no where in Scripture are we told to "pray to receive Christ." We are told to believe. (not just some belief like Santa Claus; but a "clinging to, relying on" belief)

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven" - regardless of how many
 decision forms have been filled out, how many church membership certificates have been printed, etc.

Chandler's book is rich on so many topics - all centered on not the wishy-washy, poor God needs you, "gospel" so popular today, but on the explicit gospel explicitly described in the Word of God.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cowardly Lions - and others - Need to Read

Driving from an appointment I spotted this sign...was able to take a pic through my windshield without crashing into anyone or anything...good stuff:

Don't Take Off Your Shoes...but...

This is an incredibly gospel-oriented song...I urge you to listen...and to listen carefully to the words...Obviously the words are not inspired in the sense of Scripture being inspired (God-breathed)...but I still feel as I need to at least figuratively take off my shoes as I listen...the gospel is "holy ground"...and on that Rock and Gospel I stand...

(Note...the video shows scenes from a conference in 2009 as well as the band etc...and to help you out (and me as I type) here are the lyrics:

I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way.
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave.
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will.
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still.
But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross.
And I beheld God’s love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all I know is grace.
Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life
Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me.
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose.
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You.
© 2008 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI), by Jordan Kauflin

Random Shots

During Jacob's military birthday party Saturday I took a brief walk down to the river and, with my phone, took these:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I Can Make Many Pastor/Preachers Nod This Day

Here's a great Peanuts strip that will cause most honest pastor/preachers to nod, probably with a sigh:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Jacob's Military Birthday Party

Four days after the actual date of his tenth birthday, Jacob had several of his buddies meet him at our friends Wathena, Ks home for a military themed birthday festivity.

Chris and Tricia Walters allowed us to use their home..Jane had bunches of water-balloon "hand grenades," Chris (a Captain in the Air Force) ran the recruits through their paces (and then hid in the forest until the seekers found him) was enjoyed by all. Threatening weather did not materialize...and a grand...and exhausting...time was had by all.

Here's a bunch of fotos:
                                            Depending on the moment, Captain, General, or Sergeant Jacob:

                                         Janelle, after taking her ACTs, found this relaxing...sort of:

                        Janelle and one of the soldiers...whose activities were limited by a leg injury:

                                                  Preston had a great time!

                                            Part of Jane's creativity...

                              Camo paint runs after being "shot" with colored-water squirt guns

                                       Big sister applies camo paint

                                                       Yeah, I'm gonna have a great party!

                                Several troops with captured Chris

                                    Chris Wolters survived the capture...

                                         Ever vigilant, Jacob waits patiently...

                               The Wolter's youngest (Rebecca) got in on the action...

                                     "Thanks, Janelle, for helping my party be so great!"

                         Jane "I don't like my picture taken" putting up decorations...

                                       Lift those legs, boys; Lift those legs!