Thursday, October 29, 2009

Praise is the Appropriate Response to Answered Prayer (Psalm 30)

This past Sunday I continued in our series through the first book in the Psalms by preaching on Psalm 30. The main point of the sermon was that praising and thanking God is the appropriate response to answered prayer. If you would like to listen to it, click here.

By God's Grace, Jeff

Pursue Mercy and Get it; Don't and your Won't

A few weeks back I preached from Psalm 28 as part of our series through the first section in the Psalter. The main point of the sermon was that if you pursue mercy from God you'll get it but if you don't, you won't. If you would like to listen to it, click here.

By God's Grace, Jeff

Those who Seek God Remain Confident amid Fears

Sorry I'm late in getting this posted but here's the sermon from October 4th. The passage was Psalm 27 and the main point of the sermon was that those who seek God remain confident amid fears. If you would like to listen to the sermon, click here.

By God's Grace, Jeff

Monday, October 26, 2009

Coaching Carousel

While we were vacationing in LA, I got a call from the high school basketball coach asking me if I'd be interested in taking over as the assistant coach this year. And after praying, thinking and discussing it with my wife, I've decided to accept (even though I'll miss a couple games while we're at the Winter Games in Vancouver). You may recall that two years ago I was the second assistant (when we had a large enough team) and this past year I coached the junior high boys team (in addition to coaching elementary boys basketball the past two years). I'm looking forward to working with the high school guys again and especially as many of the junior highers from last year are now high schoolers. Practice starts after Thanksgiving and the first game is December 11th.

Our Church's Community Carnival is this coming Saturday (Halloween). I'm really excited about this event and am appreciative to all of the people in our church that have been diligent planning and praying for it. I have heard nothing but excitement from people in the community so I think it has the potential to have a big turnout. I guess my only concern is that parent's may keep their kids home due to it being flu season and especially with the H1N1 strain this year. To my knowledge no one in our area has been diagnosed with H1N1 but I know a number of the kids in town have been hit with the flu over the last couple weeks. So please pray that we could have good attendance, that all of the details would work out and that we'd show love to our town.

By God's Grace, Jeff

Vacation Recap

Sorry that I haven't posted anything in a couple weeks. My wife and I were on vacation for a week and then I had to hit the ground running once we returned. But now that it's Monday (my day off) I have time to catch you up on our lives. Two weeks ago today we dropped our puppy off at a kennel in Bismarck and drove out to Fargo to catch a flight to LA the following day. In Fargo we were able to catch the Toy Story 3D Double Feature. I still maintain that Toy Story is the best animated movie ever (and it was even better in 3D).

We had a great time visiting family and friends in LA even though it was rainy our first couple days in town. I've been telling people that if I wanted to not golf, I could have stayed in North Dakota! But the weather cleared up and I was able to get plenty of golf in, which was a good thing since I probably won't be able to golf in ND for the next six months! By the end of the week I was playing some of my best golf ever, due in large part to some tips that I picked up from my Dad via his golf instructor. I even played night golf with a few friends while my wife was at her 10 year high school reunion.

And really that was the main reason that we traveled to LA this particular week. My wife and her best friend from high school attended their 10 year reunion. I would have gone along but the tickets were way too expensive. She had a fun time reconnecting with classmates that she had not seen in years. I expected her to win the "traveled farthest" award but apparently another classmate now lives in Canada (which really isn't much farther that North Dakota!)

In addition to golf and the reunion, we got to hang out with both of our families, spend time with my parent's two new dogs (a Portuguese water-dog and Cocker/Climber Spaniel) and reconnected with old friends. It was a very good trip but pretty busy. We flew back to Fargo Tuesday morning and picked up Lewis on our way through Bismarck. He was very happy to see us and doesn't seem too worse for where after being in the kennel for a eight days.

By God's Grace, Jeff

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mindset List

A friend posted a link to Beloit College's "Mindset List" for the class of 2013. These are "the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college." I found this list to be quite interesting, shocking (I'm getting old) and entertaining. Here are my top ten favorites:

3. The Green Giant has always been Shrek, not the big guy picking vegetables.

4. They have never used a card catalog to find a book.

7. Earvin "Magic" Johnson has always been HIV-positive.

11. Chocolate chip cookie dough ice-cream has always been a flavor of choice.

29. Bobby Cox has always managed the Atlanta Braves.

51. Britney Spears has always been heard on classic rock stations.

52. They have never been Saved by the Bell.

53. Someone has always been asking: "What Iraq worth a war?"

55. Natalie Cole has always been singing with her father.

68. Official racial classifications in South Africa have always been outlawed.

73. Nobody has ever responded to "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up."

Thought provoking huh?

By God's Grace, Jeff

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

No Worse for Where

This weekend my wife and I had to go to Fargo and so we left our puppy in the kennel for the first time. We dropped him off Thursday afternoon and picked him up Saturday morning. He seems no worse for where. I asked how he did and besides barking (as all dogs in kennels do) he did just fine. He hasn't had too much socialization with other dogs and so we hoped that having a chance for group play would grow him in this area. The lady at the kennel said that he played well with her dogs. She also said that he ate just fine...which was never one of our concerns with him (he gobbles up his food in no time flat and seems to always be ready to eat).

The kennel we took him to is in Bismarck and so after we picked him up we took him to Bismarck's dog park. There were about a half dozen other dogs there Saturday morning. As soon as Lewis entered the gate he began running around at full-speed and encouraging the others dogs to join him. We have concluded that he sees himself as an alpha male and leader of the pack. One of the dogs was a beagle who chased after Lewis the most. Even though he couldn't keep up with our goldendoodle, the beagle would take shortcuts to cut Lewis off. And as he was chasing Lewis, the beagle howled nonstop. It was like he was on the hunt for a fox. Lewis did well at the dog park expect for running over a Pomeranian and jumping up on a few people.

At our Community Group this past Wednesday, we began listening to a podcast from the Christian Counseling & Education Foundation on prayer requests. One of the analogies that the speaker used was that of a cameraman. Too often our prayer requests are for good things (health, finances, ministry, etc.) but we fail to turn the camera around and consider us in the midst of this issue. We don't want to just pray for situations but for "us" in the situation too. Please pray that as a Community Group we would grow in our sharing of prayer requests. Also continue to pray for our planning of the Community Carnival on October 31st and its success.

By God's Grace, Jeff