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I hear the roar.

It’s coming from everywhere and everyone.

Everyone has a message and something to say.

Something important to say

Something I need to hear or so they say

Something that will help

Something that will heal

Something that will make me better




stand out in the crowd

Do I need to hear it all?

I need to block it out so that I can hear

God speaking to me.

And I can’t

unless I choose

to sit…

to be still…

to listen…


for as long as He speaks…

or as long as I am still…

God, please make me still…

at least a little longer…

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The energy level on day #3 of VBS Kids Camp tends to be low which means the kids’ energy level increases except for our 3 year olds.

How did we plow through low-level day 3 (out of 4 days of VBS)?

We reminded our crew why we “do” VBS, and we give them something sweet to eat first thing.

As we gathered for our morning huddle, I did a contemplative reading of the story of Naaman with the focus for our volunteer crew on the young slave girl.  After the reading, we sat quietly (while eating our chocolate mountains – Hershey’s Kisses) and considered the impact that one young girl had on Naaman’s life.

This young girl’s name is not recorded, but her name was spoken to, not one, but two kings.  This young slave also knew that God’s prophet could heal her master, Naaman.

We let this story sink deeply into our hearts about how one nameless slave girl displayed God’s mighty power to an army commander and 2 kings.  The big question:  Why would she help someone who she was a slave to?

Keep letting this Bible story sink deeply into your hearts as you hit the weary days of Everest VBS.  Allow God to speak to your heart about those kids under your care and teaching this week.

You can reach the summit with God’s Mighty Power!



Our VBS ended over a month ago.  I had begun to write this post about a month ago, but I wasn’t sure if it would be as encouraging as it should be.

This young girl and her helpfulness to others provides an example for all of us whether it’s VBS, Sunday mornings, or any day of the week.

We all have access to God’s mighty power!

Keep climbing!  The view will be worth it!

Keep looking for God’s mighty power to be revealed in your life.


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VBS Everest Summit has been reached by our boys and girls and volunteer team.  Many of you are still prepping for this great expedition.  A few thoughts for those of you that are still getting ready.

Get your rest before VBS begins.

You do not really need the over-the-top, elaborate set design if you are staying up late at night to finish.  When you create your decorating plan, plan in stages of what you have to absolutely need to create your environment as stage 1, add details for stage 2, and so on.  Then finish what you can so that you are getting your 8 hours of sleep the week before VBS begins.

The kids at your VBS need a climbing crew that is ready to face the challenges.  When you are tired, you lack the ability to climb effectively.  You may think that it does not show, but just ask your volunteer team.  It shows.

When I am tired, I ______________________ (Fill in the blank or better yet ask your spouse or a friend to fill in the blank for you.)  Is this what you want to share at VBS?

You need to be emotionally prepared, spiritually prepared, and physically rested so that you can respond to questions like:

How do I forgive my dad?  He is in prison for beating my mom.

Can you see God?

Why are there avalanches where people get hurt?

Do you like me?

My family doesn’t have a Bible.  Can you give me one?

Does God love me?  How do you know?  Do you love me?

You need to be able to encourage your volunteers especially when other volunteers are telling you how they are stepping up and leading small groups by having amazing conversations.

When you are tired, you miss the important teachable, relationship building moments that reveal who God is.

Kids want you, not your decorations.  Yes, they are fun.  Yes, they create excitement and energy.  You, the leader of VBS, create the atmosphere for the week.  You need to start the week well rested, because it’s going to be a long week.  Don’t start out behind.  We can conquer challenges with God’s mighty power.  Let’s make sure that we don’t add to the challenges by being tired and yes, irritable.

Each day inspire your volunteers to serve as ministers.  

Focus:  Every kid is made in the image of God.

We assembled our entire volunteer team for a final prep meeting on Sunday evening.  Our focus was on the one belief that every kid is made in the image of God.  This was a concept that was introduced by Reggie Joiner at the Orange Conference 2015.  There is a video through Vimeo under Reggie Joiner, One Belief.

Day 1 – And God will generously provide all you need.  2 Corinthians 9:8

God has given you an amazing team and provided for your VBS.  Thank Him and your team profusely.

Day 2 – He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.  2 Corinthians 1:4

I wrote a paraphrase of the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal that also included the account of where Elijah heard God’s voice.  We reflected on it as we listened to God speak.

Day 3 – He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.  Psalm 147:3

Wednesday tends to be hard day.  The team is getting exhausted.  We started off with a sweet treat – Hershey’s kisses which look like mini-mountains.

We walked through Naaman’s healing, but we focused on the role of the servant girl, because every kid is made in the image of God.  She extended kindness to her master.  She knew that a prophet in Israel could heal her master.  Her name was spoken to 2 powerful kings.  What an influence she had.  We were reminded that every kid is made in the image of God.

Day 4 – You are a God of forgiveness.  Nehemiah 9:17

We shared stories of how God was speaking to kids and adults during the week.


If you are using the rotation method, double-check so that as your groups move they move either clockwise through your rooms or counter-clockwise.  This just makes for happier leaders and more efficient movement.

Be generous in thanking your team every day as a group and individually.

When you hear compliments from others about individuals, let them know what was said especially about your youth volunteers.  This inspires confidence and encourages them.

Always point to God and His mighty power for an incredible week filled with kids, volunteers, and love for God and each other.

Hold on to Him!

VBS Climb Crew

VBS Kids Camp Climbing Crew


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We are conquering challenges this week.

Tonight though I am wondering what I have forgotten or what have others forgotten.

My last-minute list includes

inspiring words for our final volunteer meeting on Sunday

t-shirts for volunteers distributed along with schedules and assignments

focusing on God’s Word + kids + volunteers + fun

decorating on Sunday afternoon

getting group rosters completed after online registration closes on Sunday

crew leader/guides backpacks being filled with group rosters

t-shirts for kids displayed and ready

wondering what I have forgotten?

wondering what my site leaders have forgotten?

praying that everyone has prepared their hearts and mind

to love kids and others!

What do I need to remember?

Conquering Challenges with God’s Mighty Power!

He’s got this!

Keep Our Focus – God loves kids!  We love kids!

Let’s introduce them to each other.

Remove distractions that get in the way of our focus.

You know who and what they are.  Stay focused.

Stock up on rewards for your team.  Done!

It’s going to be a great week.

Status report from Everest VBS Kids Camp

coming next week!

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The other day I passed a church building that looks similar to this one.

I wondered what services were like on Sunday and in years gone by.

I could see and hear and feel . . .

the out of tune upright piano with the tops of the keys missing or yellowed with age

the hymns being sung with more enthusiasm than perfection

the minister with the soothing voice that encouraged his people to be followers of Jesus or

perhaps the minster with the booming voice due to no sound system

sharing his experience with God’s Word

the prayers of the saints

the open windows because there is no air conditioning

the slick pews that were mostly uncomfortable

God’s presence as His people gathered together to worship Him.

Nostalgia demands that there is a serenity in this rural country church.

Reality demands that we are seeing it through the eyes of wishful thinking and know that the idyllic scene we impose on these remembrances also contain scenes that we do not want to remember…

Yet we all long for the serenity of God’s presence speaking to us in a place where we can breathe deeply and be filled with His presence.

looking for that everyday…

experienced it that day when I saw that church in the country…

When I seek Him, I find Him.

How extraordinary!

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Choosing Life

Moses’ words from the Lord to the children of Israel

“Today I am giving you a choice.  You can choose life and success or death and disaster…

Choose life!  . . . The Lord is the only one who can give life, and he will let you live a long time in the land that he promised to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”  Deuteronomy 30:15-20. 

Jesus said, “…I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest.”  John 10:10 CEV

So we all choose life or at least on a physical level our bodies breathe on their own and sustain life within us.  Ok.  I’ve chosen life.  What’s the big deal?

Is life merely a biological function or is there more?  Of course, there is more, and that is what every human being continues to search for.  The hope that there is more that lives within us,  the search for meaning, purpose, understanding of our existence.

The Bible challenges us to choose life. But a very specific form of life and yet with unending possibilities and some would say with some expectations or restrictions.

In choosing life or a life devoted to the life that Jesus offers, what’s next?

What do I breathe in so deeply that I have life to the fullest?

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I just read this verse at Craig Jutila’s blog.

Bad news won’t bother them;

they have decided to trust the Lord.

Psalm 112:7 (CEV)

The Countdown is on.  The party size bag of M&Ms has been purchased.  I now have my mantra – Psalm 112:7. 

We are now ready to countdown the final days to June 10 when boys and girls will gather to experience Kingdom Rock – where kids stand strong for God.

We, the Kingdom Rock crew, will lead the way in standing strong for God.  That means bad news won’t bother us.  You know the normal VBS stuff

staff who have to cancel serving, because of life circumstances

filling all the classes and stations with people who love God and kids

getting everyone registered before the Monday morning of VBS

new registration procedures

Kingdom crew staff meetings

wanting everything to be amazing for boys and girls

getting it all done in time

having enough . . .

Bad news won’t bother us;

We have decided to trust in the Lord.

Let’s do it.

Let the final countdown begin.

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If you are looking for information on Scoop the Loop 2012, here it is.  You can also find some information on the Facebook group, If You Grew Up In Jackson County.

Last year’s Scoop the Loop was a spontaneous event, but this year it looks like they are going all out.  On the If You Grew Up In Indiana, they are posting that 500 people say that they are attending.

A night to remember the good old days . . . (hahahaha)

or maybe just to see where life has taken everyone.


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For every minute you are angry,

you lose 60 seconds of happiness.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

As the song says, so PUT ON A HAPPY FACE!!!!

Of course, Ralph didn’t get to play angry birds.

Wonder what he would have said about that?

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Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.  Albert Einstein
US (German-born) physicist (1879 – 1955)

This quote caught my attention on Facebook.  However the quote only included the second sentence without the first.

My questions:


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