Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Master Club Rewind, Pt. 2

Here is the truth team stopping for a hearty lunch of hogie sandwhiches and chips.

Directly after lunch, we had what is called team Bible quizzing. The kid memorized 30 verses and were quizzed by the content and references. This was probably the most intense competition of the day. It was neat to coach our team and be a part of this aspect of the day.

The team got off to a quick start and never looked back. We have won this event the last 6 years. It is no doubt one of our favorite parts of the day.

Mark Unger, of Truth Baptist, won the Quizzer of the Day Award with a quiz-out.

Then began the gym events. Shown below are team relay events that are just the same as the individual card events, but the kids have to work as a team, laying only one card down, then racing down the floor to "tag off" with the other kids. This is always a competitive part of the day with lots of cheering, screaming, and noise going on. This year was no exception. Still, Truth won most of the events. Out of 6 Bible relays, we took 1st place in 5 of them. The Lord is good!

Bro. Unger and I managed the table that our team ran to. The yellow baton signals to the judges that our lane has completed their relay. As you can see, we don't mind cheering for the team!

Us doing so well in the Bible relay events does not mean there was not close competition. It provided some very intense moments on several of the relays. Some of the relays were very close!

Whew! We did it!

Here is a youtube link where you can see the relays in action. You can tell by watching the kids that we had a speed advantage with our kids. These Bible events are more important to us than the athletic events, so we really focus on winning them.

This is the awards ceremony. The kids received ribbons and trophies respectively for the categories they placed in.
At the end of the day, the Lord was glorified, the kids were tired, and we had some good fun in the Lord! These kids are receiving very beneficial training in minstry aspects. I can testify to that!
This is the 1st place quiz team. They each received a trophy for taking 1st. Mark, left, also received an additional trophy for being quizzer of the day.

Here are the kids with the Master Clubs leaders.

I will post the raw statistics tomorrow.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Master Clubs Rewind

Here are the results from the Master Club Florida Regional competition. The day started with individual events. This separates into two categories: memorization and performance. Memorization includes card matchings that are timed. These include Bible sequence, Story-chapter-truth, Sword drills, Words from the WORD, etc. Performance includes preaching, Bible storytelling, missionary biography, Bible object lessons, and Bible quizzing. I will deal with the first part in this post.
We arrived at 9 a.m. and set up our little corner of the gym. From this spot we could prepare for the individual events, and watch the team events in the gym.

This is me holding a little girl who sure likes attention from the Maynard boys!
We had several of our church folks present volunteer to judge some of the events.

There were some less-important, non-ministry events the kids could compete in, and it helped their active brains stay focused over the long day. This is called cup-stacking, a timed event.

This event is called 20 minute essay. The kids are given a topic and 20 minutes to write an essay on it. We had 2 kids compete in this category.

This is Bible storytelling.

This is a Bible object lesson. On the table is a bearded dragon, a type of lizard, to demonstrate the devil and his ability to devour.

This is Bible sequence card drill. This is a timed event where you are judged by your time and accuracy. The goal is to put the Bible events given to you in order on a timeline.

This is a sword drill that is timed.
This is called Story, Chapter, Truth card drill. It is where you match the story with the chapter where it is found, then match the truth with the story.
This is called Missionary Biography. In this event, they can present the ministry of a missionary living or in past. They act as a representative of that missionary.
This is our ensemble.

This is my piano student in the piano solo competition. She took first place.

I will post our lunch and the events following as soon as possible. After, I will include exactly what was won by either an individual or our team.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Master Clubs Event!

Hello, all. I am at a regional competition for Master Clubs, a ministry of our church. This is a competition that teaches children how to prepare, persevere, and perform in areas such as preaching, bible storytelling, missionary presentation, Bible memory, and many other areas that contribute to future ministry. I cannot go into detail right now due to time, but tomorrow I will have pictures, video, and results, along with commentary. Please pray that the kids do well for the glory of God today. I am blogging this from the hotel, and breakfast is waiting....so, tata!

In Christ Alone,

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Trucks and Other Topics

Hello, all! I figured it was about time for a journal post. Especially with what has gone on as of late.

Last weekend, Russell left with Bro. Unger to do what we call an "extraction." They traveled 9 hours each way to pick up a new kid that was coming to the academy. Anyway, you know what that means for me...LONG days at the academy! =D I worked a double shift Saturday, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Then I worked again Sunday morning at 6 a.m. So, I was pretty tired. However, I could not resist going street preaching Sunday afternoon with the group from the church. I had not been the last 3 times. (Don't crucify me!) =D I go regularly, but when the Lymans are here, I usually go with them more often than I have this time. I guess I'm busier than I used to be.
When I haven't been in a while, there's sort of an urge in me to go. I can't explain it. Anyway, we were out there about an hour and a half. I had a great time! There were scoffers and hecklers as always, but it's those that hear the word of God and listen that encourages me. Understand though, if no one hears or listens, we are commanded to go just the same. The hardness is greater now than ever before, but that is more reason to go. I cannot sit idly by while false Salvation, false religion, and complete immorality prevail. The cause is too great!

Well, that was Sunday. Yesterday, I drove Bro. Frank Wells to the airport close to Fort Walton, Fl, to see him off to the Congo. Our church took up a love offering of $3,000 for him! That was from the audience, not the church account! PRAISE GOD!!

Our church is looking forward to what the Lord is going to do in the Congo in the future. With the going of the Blackburns, our church has become completely involved in this great work. It is also a great privilege to have the Wells sent out of our church. They are one of us.
Previous to Bro. Wells departure, he had to sell his truck to help get settled there in the Congo. The Lord allowed me the privilege of buying it! It is a 2003 Chevy S10, VR5. It is pictured to the left. It is yellow with black leather interior. It has a 6 cd changer in it as well as heated seats!

I knew I would need a vehicle for college this fall, and the Lord was gracious enough to land one in my lap, while also allowing me to help Bro. Wells get things squared away stateside.

The truck has not yet been made Clay-style yet, but that will be taken care of shortly. "Clay-style" meaning I'll put my cd's in the console, my new floor rugs, a good washing and vacuuming, and obviously my "cool" sunglasses. (Right Russell?) =D

What a privilege it is to serve Jesus Christ in the ministry. I would do nothing else!

If you receive the ministry prayer letter, you will see that I was asked to write the "Truth for Troubled Youth" page. That was fun, as I had never written in the prayer letter before. So, look for my "exclusive" article! =D Just kidding.

Well, that's it until next time.
In Christ Alone,


Sunday, March 15, 2009

If It's Right, Then What Else Is There To Know? Pt 2

"Why?" He asked politely. He wasn't being rude; he sincerely wanted to know. "Why do you wear long pants to play basketball in? I'm telling you--and it ain't just me--shorts are way more comfortable!" I nodded. "You're right it ain't just you, it's just about everyone in this gym." I replied with a grin. "In fact, it's me too!"

I've known Vince almost since I started going to this gym to work out and play basketball. He's not saved, but he is very respectful of our beliefs. I've tried with no success to get him to come to church. Actually, there are several guys down there that I've tried to get to come to church. People just have no time for God, it seems.

"You're kidding! Why don't you wear them, then?"
"Cause it's not right, Vince."
"So, this is a religious thing!"
"NO, this is about pleasing God and having a good testimony."

Honestly, I like Vince, but he will never understand me or why I do things.

"It's right" doesn't seem to satisfy those that are lost. However, it never ceases to amaze me that many claiming Christians are the same way. They claim the name of Christ, but they do not represent God's children. They say they are saved, yet, personally, I would mistake them for the devil's kids! Church folks will criticize you as much as the lost nowadays.

I would love to wear shorts....if it wasn't nakedness, sin, displeasing to God, etc. My flesh thinks, "It's easier to move around in, more comfortable, so why not?" But like I said in part one, it's not about those factors. It's about what's right.

What about the things you watch? Do they please God or your flesh? What about your music? Is it uplifting to the Lord, or does it cater to the carnal man? You cannot share qualities! An action or deed cannot and will not please God and your flesh at the same time. Impossible! God will not be honored while the flesh is being gratified. Never!

Jesus asked the question of the Pharisees in reference to John's baptism, "Is it of heaven, or of men?" You know from the Bible account that they would not answer Jesus.

Do you know that every action can be judged by that same question? Music, movies, hobbies, clothing: "Is it of heaven or of men?"

It is one or the other. Does your music please God? Then take it to church and pass it on to other believers for encouragement. Your movies? Let's watch it at church! Wear those clothes that you struggle to justify unscripturally to a church activity, and see if you feel comfortable. Any man that has the spirit of God dwelling in him will know that something is wrong.

"Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity." 2 Tim. 2:19

Anyone that loves God and desires to please him will consider their actions in light of God's thoughts.

I know those who are called to preach. They are not right with God unless they're preaching or preparing for it. It's what's right. Some are called to the mission field. They're not right with God unless they're obeying their call. What has God told you? Do the right thing, Christian.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

"A servant of God."

I read this in my Bible today. Paul says in Romans 1:1, "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ..." Throughout the Bible, Paul's epistles especially, you see this theme of being a servant and the value that God puts on it, as well as the honor God grants to servants who are faithful. I am a servant of God as well! If you're saved, you should be too. If you are a servant of God, it will make you a servant of others as well. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:19, "For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more."

I will not take the time to go through all the references about servanthood and slavery in the Bible. But you all know people that you have come across or worked with that you could say, "they're a servant!" First of all, this is not popular. Servanthood is frowned upon by society today. If you are a servant, you are almost the opposite of success in the worlds eyes. They look down on folks who live for others. But, as a child of God, doesn't this lifestyle mirror the life of Christ? He said, "I am not come to be ministered unto, but to minister."

It's easy to talk about it, and it's easy to show others how to be a servant. Much harder, though, is showing yourself how to be a servant. When you really show your servanthood, you will do something that you really don't want to do. Don't you hate it when there is almost an uproar in your flesh over something it does not want to do? A lot of people go out of their way to do a job that needs to be done, but it seems like it is always something that they enjoy doing. It takes a lot of character to do something you hate.

Character in servanthood is not shown on the plateau's and pulpits of verbal professions. It is shown behind the sink of personal character, or at the tub of self control in an unwanted job, or at the feet of Christ, simply washing feet. Oh, it will not appear as Christ! It will appear as one of the staff at the academy where I work needing me to take their shift. It will appear as vacuuming a car because someone else was careless and made a mess. It will appear as a run to the grocery store to help someone with a vehicle problem that broke down in a parking lot, thus ruining my whole afternoon. By the way, those three things happened to me in the same day!

Jesus said, "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." Aha! It will not always appear as if you are doing it for Jesus, but he says that you are! We better remember that when we are inconvenienced and want to throw our mental tantrums about how bad we have it! The Lord is watching you. How do you react in those situations?

David Gibbs said this: "Servanthood is not the stepping stone to greatness; servanthood is greatness!

It is when you become a servant that you realize what happiness is all about: doing for others. When you get busy making yourself available to serve, you will forget about your petty problems and aggravations. You won't have time. I think of people in the Bible that were a servant when it was inconvenient. Remember the Shunemite woman found in 2 Kings 4? That is the only place in the Bible a woman is called great! Why? Because she sacrificed of herself for the man of God.

Well, I just got done doing the dishes before I sat to write this post. I didn't want to. I had washed dishes twice today already, and I happen to wash about 80 percent of the time. I was sick of it tonight. I tried to get one of my brothers to do it to no avail. =D That's ok. Now that it's done, I'm glad I did it. It builds character. =D Besides, no one wanted to do it, and it had to get done. I'm glad that my two busy brothers were not inconvenienced by washing dishes tonight. In fact, they're in bed right now trying to rest for the day tomorrow. It's a packed schedule this weekend, so they'll need it. Just maybe a little extra service wasn't so bad after all.

Phillipians 2:5-8
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

Ask the Lord to help you be a better servant. Just a little from my devotions this morning...hope it helped you.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

If It's Right, What Else Is There To Know?

Since the dawn of creation, man has been faced with a decision. I've never liked decisions! I hate them. A decision means that one purpose has to be defeated in favour of the other.

But many decisions that you face are easily answered by the question, "Is is right?" There are so many factors in the decisions we make. How do we feel? What do we think? What do others say? What am I being pressured to do? What are others doing? How will this effect me or my future? etc.

I watched a film recently called "Come What May," and it was one of the best I have ever seen. However, it was the slogan of the film that I want to address, "Do what's right, come what may."
In our hearts and minds, as Christians, we know to a great extent what ought to be done. I admit that there are exceptions where it takes some searching of God's will to find the truth. But this is truly an exception. What is right for the Christian is usually found in the conscience that has been directed by the Word of God and reinforced by the Holy Spirit.

Our flesh wants to consider ALL of the factors because it will not submit to the only factor that matters, God's will. And when you begin to allow your flesh to rationalize the truth with the "factors," you begin to lose the battle. What is right is all that matters.

Not your environment. Not your past. Not your present circumstances. What is right! That's it!
Not how you feel. Not what others say, do, or think. Not the possible negative effect that it may incur on you by others who do not agree. What is right! That's it!

We must quit making excuses for why we have not done right. We must quit making excuses for why we are not doing right. We must simply quit making excuses!

If it's right, what else is there to know? The answer is nothing! You need nothing else. Let's just do what's right, come what may.

It was a short, but important, thought. Consider your ways.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Do We Have a Misunderstanding?

Misunderstandings. I could ask, "Have you ever had a misunderstanding?" But I think the better question is, "Who hasn't had a misunderstanding?" Show me someone who has never had a misunderstanding, and I'll show you someone who is either perfect, or they do not have the ability to speak for some reason. Why? Why misunderstandings? Why can't life just go on as normal, everyone understanding everyone, perfect harmony, and effective communication one-hundred percent of the time? That would be nice, wouldn't it?

I had a misunderstanding recently with one of my superiors at work. He said, "I knew you better than to think that, yet I still did!" That describes the situation perfectly! One thing I will love in heaven: NO misunderstandings.

Listen, you are human. Your friends? They're human too. Coworkers? Yep, human. Parents? Human. What about my siblings? Well, if they're anything like mine, they're definitely human!!! :D No, I'm just kidding. The fact is, we're simply all human, and humans make mistakes. Human itself is by nature fallen, and therefore cannot effect incorruption in it's dealings. Do you like mathematical equations? Human = mistakes.

If I was perfect, and all my friends were perfect, we could communicate with complete efficiency. The words I say would be absolutely perfect for what I meant, and they could not be understood any other way. It would come across perfect. Those I am around, being perfect themselves, would take it into a perfect mind and understand it...well...perfectly! Unfortunately, this is far from the case. I am not perfect, and therefore say things that could possibly be misunderstood. My acquaintances hear and understand with an imperfect mind, and sometimes understand things different than they were intended. There is only one word I can think of for situations like this: Human!

Now, this is not to say that we should not try our best to prevent misunderstandings.

Proverbs 18:19 says,
"A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle."

I believe we should be as clear and complete in what we say as we possibly can. Effective communication skills go a long way in any situation. But, in light of the fact that miscommunication and misunderstandings are inevitable, this is what the Bible says about the issue. (It seems to say something about every issue. Aren't you glad for that?)

Proverbs 18:13
"He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him."

First of all, never assume. Unless you have heard the explanation of what was meant by what was said or done, do not assume anything, especially the worst, about someone. I have been in situations where an action was taken, and someone immediately assumed an intention for the action. That was never explained, just assumed. Needless to say, it led to a mess! Unless you've been reaffirmed in your initial suspicion, do not take action based on your understanding of a situation. Also, instead of making statements, always ask questions first. This allows you to understand the situation properly before making judgement. My dad always says, "It's never best to approach a situation on the attack with your mouth."

Proverbs 18:17
"He that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him."

Proverbs 20:18
"Every purpose is established by counsel..."

Seek advice. Talk the situation over with someone who is trustworthy and wise. Allow your "neighbour" to search you. They may see something, notice something, or think of something that you did not, preventing a problem. My parents just happen to be my first option. :) I would go to them first in any situation. You cannot go wrong with such trustworthy counsel. The Word of God and the Spirit of God will also speak to you. Never enter into dealing with a situation without first diligently seeking God in a time of prayer. Know the mind of the Lord on the matter, and ask him to teach you how to handle things. God will lead you. It seems that I naturally want to handle things right away without delay, which allows my flesh to get involved because I have no insight from God before analyzing things.

Lastly, resolve the issue. If wrong has been done, get to the heart of it. Take action on the facts, and do not gossip to any that should not be involved with the issue. This will cause further confusion and hurt. However, if wrong has been done, take it directly to the source.

Proverbs 27:5
"Open rebuke is better than secret love."

Proverbs 27:17
"Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."

However, if it is realized that wrong has not been done, or at least not intended by the erroneous action that was taken, do not hold the other at fault for a simple, unintended mistake. In fact, I believe the Bible instructs us to take responsiblity for the misunderstanding, even if you don't think you should have to. Read this:

Proverbs 6:3
"Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend."

The idea is that no real friend is worth getting mad at for a misunderstanding. It is better to "make sure" your friend than to rehash a mistake that cannot be changed. It always starts with you humbling yourself. That is the issue. It is not easy to humble yourself, especially when you feel that the other has done the wrong. I know--I've been there! I will tell you this: It's worth it! It's far more profitable taking responsibility for a misunderstanding, and receiving and giving forgiveness, than to "figure out" who was really at fault.

I need not elaborate further; it's the doing, not the understanding, of the concept that we have the problem with. I don't know about you, but my friends are not worth being mad at over misunderstandings. I love them too much to be mad at them for too long over anything, actually. Aside from blatant sin, for which I have separated from many, it is just not worth it.

Proverbs 17:17
"A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."

Proverbs 27:10
"Thine own friend...forsake not;"