This Thanksgiving we decided to do something different and spend some time as family in Kansas City. We thought (Nate & Sarah & Debbie) it would be fun to go down to Country Club Plaza and watch them turn on the 75 miles of lights with one switch. And to make it more exciting David Cook, American Idol winner, was flipping the switch. So we took off from the motel around 4 p.m. and made it down to the plaza. We parked on a side street and walked to the center of the plaza where it was going to take place. For some reason 100,000 or more people decided to come and see this lighting display too. After David and his niece threw the switch they had a very impressive fireworks show to top the evening off. The weather was good and I have to admit it was a pretty good time. We also got to make some family memories doing something we have never done before. The cool thing was after it was over and the hoards of people headed to their cars, we made it out of there in minutes thanks to some back roads, my wife and a GPS.
Hope all of you are having a wonderful time with family and friends today. What a great holiday this is for us as Americans. All this month in KidzWorld we have been teaching your children about gratitude. One of the statements we used over and over was “have an attitude of gratitude.” Be thankful for every little thing that God has blessed you with this year. I know the economy is not what we want it to be but there are hundreds, probably even thousands, of things we can be grateful for this year. Why not take some time today and get by yourself and think of all the blessings you have in your life. Have the attitude of gratitude today. Happy Thanksgiving.
Here is a sample of my list of what I am thankful for this year…
to have a part in God’s work to redeem others to Him
my wife (she is one amazing person and to think she puts up with me)
my family (each one has a special gift and is serving the Lord in some capacity)
NewSpring Church (willing to do whatever it takes to reach others)
Staff of NewSpring Church (we love you guys & gals)
living in America
NewSpring Coffee (could go for a cup right now!)
cell phones (most of the time)
people who come up and tell you that they are praying for you (never get tired of this one)
kids who are so excited about KidzWorld that they invite others to come with them (oh yeah!)
Birthday Parties at NewSpring (thanks Karla for your passion for this…entices people to come and visit us on the weekend)
dentists & doctors ( I hate going but glad they are around when you need them)
Nature ( God did a great job with that didn’t He?)
smell of homemade bread baking
Well, I am sure of one thing in my life…God has truly been blessing it for over 47 years!
What a great time we had this morning going through all the packages for Operation Christmas Child, loading them up and taking them to the drop off location for shipment to the distribution center in Denver, Colorado. From there the boxes will be shipped all over the world. You guys brought 500 boxes filled with toys, clothes and a bunch of other fun stuff for kids. NewSpring, you did an amazing job and I am totally blown away by how you responded for our first year participating in this ministry. Over 8 million kids have never received a Christmas gift. What is especially cool about this ministry is that along with the gift you sent will be some info on how to have a personal relationship with Christ. What a way to start the holiday season!
Debbie and I had the privilege to attend Calvary Chapel in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. We got to hang out with the Children’s Pastor, Pastor George. The picture to the right is where they have their large group session for K-5th grades. Debbie and I got to sit in their large group session before the kids went to their small group rooms. It’s very high energy and fun, a lot like KidzWorld.
We also attended Calvary worship service and it was fantastic! It reminded me of NewSpring, making connections with people from every walk of life. Bob Coy is the senior pastor and did a wonderful job with the topic of anger. At the end of the service he gave an invitation for salvation and forgiveness and nearly 100 people came to the front to pray with the pastor. It was an awesome sight to see. It will be a long time before I forget that experience. Seeing people move from darkness into light…it never gets old.
Now we are sitting at the Ft. Lauderdale airport waiting for our flight. Debbie and I had a great time of just plain relaxation. We didn’t go to Disney World or Busch Gardens or even go alligator hunting in the Everglades. But we got to spend time with each other just relaxing on the beach and that was much needed at this point in our lives. It was a good reflecting and refocusing time as we rejoice in the great Judgement House results and a very fast growing children’s ministry. To those of you who had a part in arranging this trip, Debbie and I say, ” THANK YOU!” We can’t wait to get back and get to work on making KidzWorld bigger and better. One thing I do know is that we have the privilege to work with the greatest volunteers and staff anywhere.
Whipped cream and sour Gummy worms…sounds delicious doesn’t it? Debbie and I are big on review games in KidzWorld. It is one thing to tell a Bible story but will the kids remember twenty minutes later? So that is why we play a lot of review games with your kids. We usually play boys vs girls and it tends to get pretty loud in the 252 Theater. But once in awhile during the review game we have a challenge. As you can see by the picture, the kids “kind of” get into it. This particular game was who could eat the most gummy worms off a plate of whipped cream in a set amount of time.
This month we are learning about Gratitude-Letting others know you see how they’ve helped you.
Last week we talked about the ten lepers who were healed by Jesus but only one return to thank him for being healed. This week we will be talking about Paul and the list of people he wanted to thank for helping him. So parents, engage your kids on the way home and quiz them on what they did and learned in KidzWorld. We want to partner with you to help teach your child what the Bible says. Hope to see you this weekend.
Well, it’s 11:59 p.m. The final 2 groups are finishing up their tours for the evening. Once again it has been an awesome night. It is so amazing to see how God is working and who He brings to see Judgement House. Tonight we had a youth group from Iola, KS come through JH for the first time. We also had a group of about 60 from Salina/McPherson. This group comes every year and they use it as one of their youth outreaches help introduce their friends to Christ. We had a large group of WSU foreign exchange students as well.
Our salvation total for this evening is 103!
Please remember that Praise & Worship begins at 2 p.m. tomorrow. You will hear from Wallace, the JH Brazilian missionary. Mark will also finish up the Running series with a message called “Running Ahead of God.” You don’t want to miss it.
Don’t forget that you can pick up an “Unexpected” T-shirt at registration. The orders are in and we have a few extras as well (sizes L-3X). Those delicious cookies are still in high demand and we can use some more if you would like to donate some tomorrow or Sunday.
Can’t wait to get it going again tomorrow!