Fishing for Starlings

Jenny woke me up at the crack of dawn this morning saying there was a “critter” somewhere in the house. She heard a paper fall off of the dresser. Then she felt something on her hip as she laid in bed!! Creepy! I looked around the kitchen. Didn’t find anything. Looked in Taylor’s room . . . nothing thank goodness. He would have totally been freaked out for who knows how long! Working my way back into the bedroom, I walked into our bathroom. On a decoration in the window is the silhouette of a tiny bird. Then it flies right toward me!! Totally freaked out, I am screaming like a little girl! (Shut up Fran!! I don’t want to hear it!!) Poor thing didn’t know what in the world was going on. Kept trying to fly to safety and hitting the window and mirrors in the bathroom. Jenny is in the far other end of the house by now. I go out in the garage to find something to capture the thing with. What to use? How about a trout net? Perfect! After about 10 minutes of flying around tiring the sucker out, he/she landed in our shower and sat on the floor. dsc00027.JPG I put the net over the top of it and slipped a cardboard box top under it and headed for the front door. Put it on the sidewalk and it didn’t move a bit . . . just sat there stunned. Sat there long enough for me to get a good picture. And they lived happily ever after. Let’s not talk about where the thing used the bathroom in our bathroom!! Disgusting!!

Conductor Towe

Caleb Towe, one of our CFC grads from Nixa, works down at Silver Dollar City and we have been trying to get down to see him all year. If you all know, I am a big fan of the Silver Dollar City! We have season tickets each year as a Christmas gift from my mom and dad, so we go a lot. We haven’t been down there this year and I’ve been wanting to go all year, so I decided to beg off of work early on Monday to the city.

Caleb is an actor on the the Silver Dollar Line. They rotate the duties of Alfie and dsc00021.JPGRalphie J. Bolland, “those notorious train robbers” and the conductor of the train. He happened to be the Conductor on Monday afternoon. If you have been to SDC and been as many times as I have growing up, you dsc00026.JPGprobably know the scripts by heart. They have changed some of the things, which is cool. He even added a “David Stone” on the ride for good measure . . . nice!

Good to get away for the afternoon. We will go again, especially when he is “robbing.”

Break Through??

Ben Arment has a great post about some similar feeling I am having right now. We are at a definite “crisis of belief” stage in the life of our church family. The finances are in a word, bad. We also have a hard time getting volunteers for the ministries we are offering. There are a lot of churches in the same situation as ours, a lot of them. We are in good company. It is just that some of them have buildings and assets that they are able to lean against during the storms. Church plants don’t have that luxury. I was encouraged by Ben’s post about this temporary “dip” (more about this in a later post) is simply preparation for a huge breakthrough in our church. Here is his conclusion on the matter:

Whenever I sense tension in our church, I’ve come to get excited about what God has in store… what he’s got brewing. Because he always works it for good. It took me a while to learn not to hyperventilate and panic from the uncontrollable change, the loss of people, whatever. But amid all the crises we’ve experienced, God has built our church stronger and stronger every year.

I’m excited about what God is going to do here in the next few days with His People. God, help us to become men and women of faith that will follow Your Calling to the ends of the earth.

Happy 155th Birthday!!

First Baptist Church, Springfield, MO had their 155th year anniversary this past Sunday. We went downtown to church in the morning and then to River Bluff Fellowship’s new building dedication in the evening. I love singing those old hymns with the organ cranked. It brings back a lot of memories of my childhood into my college years. My pastor during college, Lynn Worthen preaching in the morning service. He did an awesome job talking about CHANGE. If there is anything that any church (traditional or non-traditional, new or old) doesn’t want to do is change. I’m not really sure how well the message was received, but I hope it was received and the church will flourish.

Something really funny was said by the pastor. Russell and Carolyn Newport were given a really nice appreciation during the service. The pastor said that Russell was the interim music pastor for 14 years!! Pastor turned to Lynn Worthen and said, “Pastor, I’ve learned that you can stay for as long as you want here at First Baptist . . . if you are an interim.” Classic line!

I also noticed something that is very unsettling to me. They had the names of all of the church plants that they had sponsored/been a part of over the years. There are a TON of churches around here because of First Baptist’s planting heart . . . until the mid 90s. Something happened after they planted Ridgecrest. (I can still remember the excitement and weekly reports of Ridgecrest and of how it was going “in the white house off of Republic Road”. Maybe that was the first glimpse for me into church planting as a junior high student!) Something happened in the mid 90s . . . but no one could put a finger on it then. In the mid 90s, there was a big fight over “important” things like what kind of music we are going to sing, who’s liberal and conservative and who’s not. It was a very similar fight that many have been apart of all over this country in SBC life. It turned toward staff and pastors. It was quite sad. During that time, the church turned inward, stopped planting churches and decline began to happen. Obviously I am a church planter, so what I am about to say is pretty biased. But when a church stops looking to expand the Kingdom of God and looks to guard their own little kingdom, God removes His hand from that place. Have people been saved in that place since the mid 90s? Absolutely. Were they a part of works after 1985? Absolutely. But I wonder what “could have been” if “we” hadn’t lost our focus on the real goal–reaching unchurched people for Christ. I say “we” because I am a part of that place. I always will. Jenny and I were married there in that sanctuary in 1995. I was a part of the youth ministry there. Jenny and I were baptized there. I surrendered to full time Christian service there. I began my ministry career there teaching Sunday School. I helped with Summer Celebration during two summers. I love that place! I love the people!

I say this because I love that place . . . there could be so much more (future tense). What an exciting place downtown Springfield has become! I sure hope and pray that we truly can change for the better and that, if the Lord tarries, she will have many more years of effective ministry in downtown Springfield.

If our little “baby church” can learn anything from a 155 year old church it is to remain faithful to the GOSPEL. When we begin to focus too much on insider information, we lose the hand of God. I pray for Finley Crossings that we would remain focused on those on the outside looking in. That we would not lose sight of the vision that we have tons of people coming to a relationship with Jesus Christ through this church family. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a 155th anniversary for Finley Crossings? Think of the LEGACY that we are leaving behind for generation after generation to come. REMAIN FAITHFUL . . . that is what I learned from an old bride this weekend.

Little Yadi

One of Taylor’s favorite players on the Cardinals is catcher, Yadier Molina. It seems that on our baseball team, everyone wants to play catcher. I don’t know if it is the gear, the action of a ball coming all of the time, getting to stand by a guy like me. . . don’t know. In our hurry back from our maiden voyage of the ol’ RV, Taylor failed to put his glove in his bag. taylor-yadi.jpgSo he had to play catcher back there with no glove. (Don’t worry DFS, it is coach pitch and he was “catching” them off the bounce.) I think he really did learn (is learning) a lesson about taking care of your stuff.

Here he is in action. Don’t know who that fat guy is next to him, though.

Extreme Makeover: Motorhome Edition

“That there Clark, is an RV!”

We have been looking for about 2 years for a pop-up camper to pull behind the van. Every time I call a phone number in the paper in the price range we could afford, no dice, already sold! My dad has some friends that own a car/RV dealership in Springfield dsc00133.JPGand helps them drive Cars/RVs back from auctions. He has “been keeping an eye out for something” for quite some time and finally found something for us. But “it needs a little work” to quote him. A little work–how about a lot of work? There is a reason why he got such a smokin’ deal on it! Read more