Monday, September 21, 2009

A VBS Legacy

My son and I had such a good time together when we attended a concert given by another local Baptist church in town. The man who writes the music for Lifeway's VBS curriculum, Jeff Slaughter, came and performed a family-friendly concert.

We laughed & sang as we relived some of the past VBS songs like the "Wiki Wiki" song from Outrigger Island ("it isn't tricky"). Jeff involved the kids by asking them to come up on stage with him and demonstrate the motions to the songs. As the kids performed with him I realized that it didn't matter what church they had attended for VBS, they all knew the songs and the motions and were performing them in unison.

I thought back during the concert with Jeff to our own church's VBS Family Night where the children perform their songs in concert for their friends and family. This year it was awesome to have all those children up on stage together singing a song titled Because. This particular song has a very compelling message that sends tears to my eyes every time I hear it! When I recall the children standing on stage and singing with their arms outstretched, it makes me very thankful that God has gifted Jeff Slaughter with the ability to sing and create music!

This is even more incredible when I learned that night from Jeff that his great-grandfather was an atheist. Jeff's mother was the first one in her family to become a Christian. God has inspired Jeff to create music that is used in VBS, which continues to be a vital evangelistic ministry that reaches children with the love of God.
God is so amazing!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

We're Family

I answered the phone the other day and it was my cousin. I have several dozen cousins in my family, but if you’ve heard me preach about adventures with my cousin - this is the guy. It’s amazing we both survived childhood.

We now live in different states, so it was the first time I had spoken to him in several years, but it was almost like we were kids again. We caught up on each other’s families, on life in general, and a few stories from “the good ‘ol days.” It’s nice to have those folks that, even when separated by miles and years, you’re still “family.” Lasting relationships are vital in life.

That’s the idea behind small groups. This week, we are starting several new small groups throughout the week meeting in various locations around the community. They will meet in homes, in meeting rooms, in apartments; they will include men, women, and students; they will all have the same purpose - to connect with God and with people. For information, see the September newsletter, or call the church office at 833-4111. We will also continue to have our exciting small groups on Sunday; you probably know them as Sunday School classes! Find a small group this week and get connected to a “family of faith.” The relationships will be vital for you, too!

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I love football. I always wanted to play, but never had quite the size required to be on an organized team. Still, whenever I could get a neighborhood game together, I played. I even tried to play when I couldn’t find anyone else. I went out in the backyard and attempted to be the quarterback, fullback, wide receiver, field goal kicker, and coach. Basically, I threw the ball in the air, caught it, and ran. I made lots of touchdowns, but somehow the game just wasn’t the same. It’s much better when you have an actual team.
Paul said the same thing about the church. Every member of the team is important. Using the imagery of the body, he describes the importance of every member working together in Christ:

Ephesians 4:16
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Your part is important in the kingdom of God. Without you, the team just isn’t the same. Get off the bench and into the game!