Saturday, June 28, 2008

The end of VBS

We had a great week of Vacation Bible School w/ an avg. attendance of 42 children each night & about 20 adult helpers. Everyone had fun & it was a great blessing to be a part of it. So many worked so hard & to them I am extremely thankful. Here are some pics from the week.
The huge puddle that formed following the unexpected downpour proved to be the biggest attraction with the kids. We had a Kickoff Pre-registration Luau on Sunday night.

What kid doesn't love blowing bubbles?

Is it time to send the kids to snacks?

We ended w/ Family Night last night so the families could see all we had done this week.

Here I am "catching a wave." We have an offering competition each year between the boys & girls to see who brings the most money (in pounds so every penny counts) & the boys came up short & as a result I got doused w/ buckets of water. The kids went crazy & I think the adults enjoyed it too. One of our Kindergarten boys came up to me later & looked sad as he told me "I'm sorry brudder Chris we made you get wet."

I told him it was OK & how proud I was they worked hard to help bring offering to support the Arkansas Baptist Children's Homes. It was a great week & we're praying God will continue to make a difference in the lives of these children.

Belly Picture

People have been asking for a recent picture of Erin's pregnant belly. Here it is at week 27...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Vacation Bible School

We kicked off our VBS last night w/ 40 kids & about 20 workers. It was the largest 1st night many in this church can remember in a long time. Things are off to a good start & we are praying God will bring children into a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is one of the biggest events of the year in our church & everyone is excited about it.

The theme for the week is "Living God's Unshakeable Truth" & I preached a message titled just that on Sunday morning as our sanctuary was all decorated & we dressed the theme. I was wearing a hawaiian shirt & khakis (it feels great preaching in something other than a suit). We anticipate the number of students to increase as the week progresses. We find ourselves in one of the busiest & most tiring weeks of the year in our church, but certainly one of the most rewarding as well.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Sometimes the small things make a BIG difference. I, for instance, don't eat fresh tomatoes, but everyone in my family & around me does. The Salmonella scare of recent days has put a hamper on the availability of tomatoes. I haven't thought much of it, but oh what a tragedy it has been for my wife! She eats a sandwich & doesn't have tomato. We had Taco Bell a couple of weeks ago & guess what, no tomatoes on the tacos.

Going to Texarkana on Saturday to run errands we had a long conversation about what to eat for lunch. TLC, nope no tomatoes for her burger. Quizno's, nope the sandwich wouldn't taste right w/o tomatoes. On & on we went until we decided to go eat pizza (at least there's nothing wrong w/ tomato sauce). I will eat a tomato in almost any form other than raw: ketchup, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, etc. But a raw tomato, YUCK!

I tend to forget sometimes how such a small thing can make a big difference. Many times we don't appreciate something until it's taken away from us, big or small. Pay attention to the small things, b/c even though you don't realize it, they can make a BIG difference.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Preaching & Sweet Tea

It's been a rough couple of weeks. The 1st week of June was real busy for some reason & all last week I was sick w/ a miserable respiratory infection. I'm still not well, but it's more under control today. I'm back in the office after being out all last week w/ this crud.

Yesterday was a great service honoring our Father's. I coughed all morning long & people all over the church could hear me. I asked people to pray God would take it away for church & God provided in a great way as He always does. When church started I was still coughing but a few minutes into the service I felt great & amazingly enough I didn't even have to clear my throat or cough even once until after the invitation was over! I was preaching on Abraham's great faith in obeying God w/ the sacrfice of Isaac & at the end we discussed how Abraham worshiped God & named the mountain "The Lord Will Provide." I was a living illustration of that in the service yesterday.

The funny part about the whole thing is I didn't want a mint in my mouth when preaching & had discovered sweet tea seemed to coat my throat & ease the coughing. So what did I do? I took a bottle w/ sweet tea in it w/ me to the pulpit. (Yes, I am officially an Arkansas Redneck Preacher for drinking sweet tea while preaching) The best part is I didn't need it until the end of the service, though I drank it while everyone sang at the beginning. I had to clarify to the people what it was b/c it was in a clear bottle & some joked it was the other home remedy for curing a cough (whiskey). We laughed about it & when I joked w/ a couple from the choir before the service about what it was several of them started coughing hoping I would give them some!

God is great & gives us great blessings & provides when we are faithful to Him!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Feels Like Failure

Have you ever done something & then looked back on it to feel as though you failed at the task? As a preacher, this is a regular feeling for me many times after walking off the stage at the end of a sermon. I can prepare the message I feel God has given me & do my best to present it in a meaningful way, but it sometimes feels as though I'm not in sync.
What I've noticed is when I feel this way the most God is at His best. Yesterday was one of those days, but when the service was over the number of significant expressions of appreciation for the message & the immediate impact seemed far greater than I would have ever thought! Last night while getting ready for our service to start I overheard a group talking (which isn't hard in our small church to hear what's being talked about on the other side of the sanctuary) to a lady who was absent that morning. They discussed in detail the substance of the sermon & were truly impacted by it, making her truly disappointed she missed it.

All this to say: When you're doing something for the Lord you know he's called you to do, do it to the best of your ability & have faith God will use it. When we feel we're at our worst is when God is usually at His best. You never know what impact you will have through simple obedience. Don't let your feelings of inadequacy discourage you but encourage you because when we're inadequate we have no choice but to surrender all to God.

Thank God daily it's all about Him & not about us!