Why VBS Is Still A Very Good Thing–Thankful Thursday

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There’s a lot of talk these days about whether or not to continue with Vacation Bible Schools. Our church, for one, has taken a couple of VBS breaks recently. Yet, this year, we chose to once again invest our resources into a great week of ministry within our community. Here are some of the reasons why we believe VBS is still a very good thing:

1–Kids get to hear about Jesus

2–Grownups get to hear about Jesus

3–The church is unified

4–Excitement is created

5–Great cookies

6–Kids learn about missions like never before

7–Generational ministry happens in a powerful way

8–New people connect; old people do, too

9–Lives are changed; people are saved

10–Passion is stirred

Granted not all these things may happen in every church. But, that doesn’t negate the fact that these things do happen and when they do, God is glorified and the kingdom is strengthened. And that, is still, and will always be, a very good thing! I’m thankful for that truth, and for the people who use their gifts and talents to serve Christ through VBS’s around the world. And on this Thursday, that makes me very thankful. (That and the fact that clean up is just about done!)

Oh! And one other reason . . . who doesn’t like slime???!!

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Andrew the Guard getting slimed at VBS

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VBS team members and me at closing night.

You may have some other great reasons why your church still does VBS or why your kids love VBS. Feel free to share!

Hit Me Again

If yesterday was fill ‘er up, today is most definately “Hit me again.” Reading on in Acts, this girl just loves the “rest of the story.” (Well, there is even more “rest of the story”, but this is the next “rest of the story.”) Anyway, I love THIS story, in part, because I love all the stories that involve Peter. Ask just about any HiSKiD at church and they can tell you that Ms Dawn’s favorite Bible character is Peter. My favorite book of the Bible is Acts, and Genesis, and Judges, and Chronicles, Ruth. . . . .well, the favorite book is a bit harder, but my favorite character is by far MR Peter! And one of the reasons is because of things that happened like the things that happened in Acts chapter 3.

While everyone is looking on in amazement, ooohing and ahhhing, Peter blurts out,

“Hey, really???? Why in the world are you so suprised? I mean, do you think we did this ourselves? God did this. Yup, God. Same God who sent Jesus and glorified Him. Yeah, that God, that Jesus. The one you handed over to be killed. The one you disowned. The one you decided should die instead of a murderer who you asked to be released. You know, you killed the author of life. Well, you tried. God raised him from the dead. We know cuz we’re were there. We saw it all. And this man, he’s definately not lame–figuratively or literally. He’s completely healed, but not because of anything we did, but because of the absolute awesomeness of the very name of Jesus, and his faith in Him.”

At this point, I imagine jaws dropping. (a sight I have recently witnessed on numerous occassions as certain surprising disclosures have come to light in our lives) After the jaws drop, and the fog in their brains begins to clear, and the truth and weight of what Peter is saying begins to sink in, I think their heads probably dropped, eyes unable to make contact. At which point Peter lays the smack down.

WAIT!!! NO HE DOESN’T. . . . Well, he does. But what’s so awesome is how he does it–it’s gently, with grace, and without condemnation that he continues

Now, brothers, I know you were clueless. You had no idea what you were doing. You acted in ignorance, and so did your leaders. But it had to be that way, God had to fulfill the prophecies. But look, now you know. I’m telling you, God is showing you and because God loves you so much we are here warning you that once you know what you’ve done, you need to repent, turn to God and let your sins be wiped out and times of refreshing start coming in. Plus you gotta understand that He doesn’t want anyone to perish. But, and this is a big but, anyone who does not listen will be completely cut off.

Peter went on to explain how prophets from days gone by have been telling this basic message for years. We know that God still has people telling this message. He understands that we can be ignorant of the truth, so He is sending people right and left to help us see and understand what our sin has done and that He has the answer to this problem and that answer is Jesus. He loves us enough to warn us of the consequences of what will happen if we choose to reject Him or fail to believe what He is saying.

I love Peter’s “good news-bad news” approach. The good news is God healed this man. The bad news is you killed God. The good news is all you have to do is repent, believe, follow and you can be saved. The bad news is if you don’t you will be completely cut off.”

But I mostly love Peter’s compassion. “Now, brothers, I know you acted in ingnorance, and so did your leaders.” I love how Peter didn’t condemn them, he didn’t judge them, the didn’t belittle them, or shut them out. Peter just loved them enough to tell them the truth. “Hey I know you didn’t understand what you were doing, but you need to know, because this knowledge will save your soul.”

So Jesus, “Hit me again.” Today I desire to be filled with that kind of compassion, that Peter kind of, Jesus kind of love that says, “Hey, I just love you enough to let you know what’s at risk here.” Maybe that prayer is being answered today when someone reads this, maybe it will be answered through some place I teach, or by some chance happening. But I pray that God continues to fill His people up with the boldness to speak His words as we ought with compassion, love and truth, so that those around us might know the truth and be set free.

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Can I Get a Witness?

It is said in such reputable places as Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary that the phrase, “Can I Get a Witness?” is often used in reference to someone who has been treated unfairly. For example, someone accuses you of something and you say you didn’t do it, followed by a “Can I get a witness?” In our little midwestern corner of the world, we say it when we want to make a point. For example, “This is a day for some major Diet Coke drinking. . . Can I get a witness?” We know we’re small town, and we’re okay with it, (Remember John Mellencamp’s Small Town song–I loved that song. . . .I was taught to fear Jesus in that small town). . . .

. . . which is probably why today when I was reading some of the red letters of John, chapter 15, those words came to my mind. You see in this slice of Scripture, Jesus is preparing the disciples for what is to come when He’s gone–when they are scattered about in those small and not so small towns. He tells them that if the world hated Him, and it did, then the world is going to hate them. He tells them that if the world persecuted Him, and it did, the world is going to persecute them. He tells them that He is going to be sending a witness.

When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will tesitfy about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning. John 15:26-27

I can’t say that I’ve heard Jesus shouting out to me, “Hey! Dawn! Can I get a witness?” But I have certainly have been thinking about how unjustly He was treated for me, and for you, and how He is now calling those who call ourselves His to our time to be a witness for Him.

And you, you also must testify for you have been with me from the begininng.

And although I can’t say, like the disciples, that I have been with Him since the beginning, I can give a witness to the fact that He has been with me. And that’s something to give a shout out about. So who needs to hear your to testimony of the power of Jesus in your life, or more to the point, who doesn’t? Can I get a witness?

3-2-1 Awesome


Last night the church I attend and work for held a little event for moms we are calling MnMs–Monday Nights for Moms. MnMs is just a little something we wanted to start doing to get our women together and have a little fun, a little encouragement, and a little bit  of learning about being, well moms. You know how it can be, sometimes we get so busy just “doin life” in our own world, that we forget to “do life” together. And although we get training for a zillion other things,  we often forget to get a little training in the whole mom/wife/woman department. And since the Bible tell us to do these kind of things (Titus 2). . .  MnMs was created.

Of course (heavy sigh), in a winter with virtually no snow, we got snow and  bit of ice yesterday. However, we were not to be deterred!!!  We were meeting anyway!  After all we are MOMS and we needed out of the house! We had a goal to learn about setting goals!!  We started things out spiritually by baptizing a variety of treats into melted chocolate and our veggies into dip as we prepared for the rest of evening.

We tackled our topic on goal setting (if you want to know how I feel about goals, read back a few posts to 1st and goal). We were blessed to have a phenomenally talented woman from our church lead us in how to make antiqued Valentine cards (Thank you Ms Gaby!). But the pinnacle of the evening for me was our 3-2-1 Cup-o-Cakes or 3-2-1 Awesome Cakes as I am now inspired to call them.

My kidmin coach, Todd, shared this recipe with me. His wife shared it with him. Someone from Pinterest shared it with her. But honestly, who cares where it came from??? It’s just too much fun in a cup!!!!  And, yes, there’s a little spiritual application attached.  Ready??? Here’s the thing.

Take:

One angel food cake mix (see it’s spiritual already–angels!)

One one any kind of cake mix  (preferably not devil’s food-bahahaha, just kidding) I did use chocolate for my demo last night.   And. . . .

Mix them together. Really well. Like with a whisk. In a big bowl.  Store it in an airtight container of somekind.

Then:

Grab a coffee cup/mug

Put 3 well rounded Tablespoons of the cake mix in there

Add 2 Tablespoons of water        Stir it up, mix it up, (I don’t recommend shaking it up)  Although the recipe itself does shake things up a bit!

Cook 1 minute in your microwave.    Hence the 3-2-1 and. . . it’s . . .

Awesome!!! I mean open that microwave door and you have CAKE!! In your CUP!!  Just like that!!! So simple. So wonderful. So Awesome!! Don’t just look at it. . . .eat it! Plain or topped with something like frosting, mint chips, ice cream, whipped cream, peanut butter. . . .I dunno. . . whatever you like.

So. Ms Dawn, you say. I think I’m missing something. . . just what is the spiritual application here, besides “angel” food cake?

Here’s the thing.

It’s simply simple. Some of the best things in our spiritual life are kind of like 3-2-1 Awesome Cake–they don’t have to be complicated. They can be those few minutes spent in prayer, those few minutes spent sending out a card, those few minutes letting someone else in front of you in the checkout line.  They can be the homemade card you made at church for your husband or the Double Stuffed Oreos he gave you for Valentines Day. (Yeah, that’s my man in plaid!) They can be the hug you share with a friend or  the “hello” you share with a stranger. The best spiritual things are often simple, and they are meant to be SHARED.

You see, this simple recipe was shared with me by someone who had it shared with them, by someone who had it shared with them, by someone who had it shared with them. Last night, I shared it with our ladies, and I know they are going out and will share it with someone else, probably today. Now as I share it with you, I know some of y’all will be on your way to WalMart for cake mix before the end of the day and you will be texting a friend to see if they’ve tried it yet! Because you, too, have realized that it really does sound pretty awesome, and you’re thinking, “Hey! All these women (and one man) can’t be wrong!”

Well, can you see it now? What we’re doing with this cake recipe. . .that’s what Jesus asks us to do. Get so excited about what He has shared with you that you simply have to share it with someone else or a couple of someone elses. Or a whole group, or the world. When it’s all said and done, I mean, I’m thankful someone shared the recipe with me, but I’m really thankful someone shared Christ with me.  3-2-1 Awesome!!