Why I’m So Excited About Jumpstart3

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So, why am I so excited about Jumpstart3??

Because they are coming to my town. In just 2 weeks. Wow! Just 2 more weeks!

That fact, in and of itself, is more than enough reason to be excited, and we are excited to be hosting Jeff McCullough of Jumpstart3 for our upcoming week of VBS. But, there’s more!

This past February, I met Jeff at the Children’s Pastors Conference in California. We actually just “passed” each other and that was about it. I was walking into the vendor room to meet up with the crew from Kidology while Jeff was setting up his booth for Jumpstart. We shook hands, I asked him if he had seen Karl Bastian, and then I didn’t really see him again to talk. Although, I did get to watch him lead some super fun worship at CPC one night!

Jeff seemed to be everywhere and wherever that everywhere was there were people around getting excited about Jumpstart3’s Scripture memory songs. I have to admit I never really made it to his booth, but I’d already downloaded some of the songs on iTunes before and liked them. However, it is just recently that I’ve really began to love them.

This spring, God put it on my heart while planning VBS to invite Jeff to come to Iowa to share with HiSKidZ here. We have had some fun conversations and quite a bit of phone tag as we have planned and prayed about the week. He has gone out of his way to make sure that this week will be one our families will never forget.

Last Friday and Saturday, we used the “Matthew 7:24″ song with a group of 3rd graders at our church camp’s Overnighter Camp and, well, words just can’t express what we experienced. Not only did our 65+ 3rd graders learn the verse by song, they learned to say it, and they loved it.

Requests to play it again and sing it again and again and again resonated through the camp. When parents came to pick up their kids and saw them singing Scripture with all their hearts–it was a beautiful thing! Volunteers are still texting me lyrics and breaking into song when they see me! (Ok, that’s not super unusual for me, but I LOVE IT!!!!)

Kids were singing with reckless abandon, eyes closed, motions movin’ and groovin’ as we sang together, “Therefore anyone who hears these words of Mine is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

It didn’t hurt that it rained like a big dog most of the session!! So that when we sang, “The rains came down; the streams rose, the winds blew and beat against that house, yet it did not fall, yet it did not fall, yet it did not fall. –Because it had it’s foundation on the ROCK!” with the rains coming down in full force on a metal roof with the winds blowin’ and beating against our building, we all knew we wanted to be like wise men who built our houses on the rock!

If you haven’t discovered Jumpstart3 yet, I can’t encourage you enough to check them out and begin to let the Word of God soak into the hearts and minds of your kids.

If you happen to be around my neck of the woods in Southeast, Iowa, we’re inviting area pastors, children’s pastors and volunteers to a meet and greet with Jeff on Tuesday, July 28 anytime between 1 and 3pm. We’d love to have you stop in for some encouragement, blessing and to learn a little more about what Jumpstart3 is all about!!  Got kids? Consider joining us for VBS at New Testament Christian Church.

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1st and Goal

It was just a few years ago that I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what the term “1st and goal” even meant.  However, as our youngest son began his peewee football, then his jr high football, and finally his high school football career, I began to figure it out. Yeah, it took me that long. (I seriously think it took me four years to understand the concept of a first down).   Through the years we saw some great coaching and some not so great coaching and truly began to understand how much good coaching can mean to successful teams.

At the California CPC (Children’s Pastor’s Conference) last year, I met some of the wonderful people of Kidology. We hit if off immediately and next thing I knew the Lord had drawn me to the wonderful world of children’s ministry coaching.  Not as a coach, but as a “player”!!!  After twelve years in Kidmin, I am beginning to take my game to a whole new level.  And although at times I hate to admit it, I love it–really, really love it.  For you see, I’m being stretched, held accountable, and being called to set goals.  Ugggghhhhhh!! I mean Yeeeeeeeaaaaaa!!!!!

No doubt, my coach, a great guy name Todd McKeever (check him out at www.toddmckeever.com) has encouraged me, yes even forced me, (okay, well, only because I signed on for it) to set and keep goals. Ministry goals, spiritual goals, family goals, financial goals, fitness goals and now, praytell, one year  and life goals. Lord knows, (and so does Todd) that this is not something that I have enjoyed or that I was especially receptive to . .at first.  BUT, and this is a big but, goals are changing my life, and as a result, the lives of those around me. The focus, purpose and accomplishment of these goals makes me stronger, makes those on my team stronger, and makes my witness for Christ stronger.  I’m having opportunities to share the process with others, and together through the directed approach of goal setting we are “moving those chains” down the field towards the goal–surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on from the heavenly realms. At least that’s how I see it in my head.

I’ve finally learned that goals really can be SMART– Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely not just Suffering, Migrain Inducing, Annoying, Reminders of Time Wasted. I’ve learned that in accepting their worth, I’m changing outwardly and inwardly at the same time, and I’ve learned that this unschooled, ordinary woman can shine a little more brightly because she has spent time with Jesus allowing Him to be the ultimate coach and goal setter of her life.

I think Paul said it best when he said in Philippians 3:10-14″I want to know Christ, yes to know the power of His resurrection and the participation in his suffering and becoming like Him in His death, and somehow, attaining to the resurrection of the dead.  Not that I have already attained all this or have arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. . . .I don’t consider myself to have yet taken ahold of it, but one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

And that’s my ultimate 1st and Goal until He returns to take me across the line into the neverENDing ZONE.