Sharing with Steve
I have just witnessed God working through generations. Last week I was dean of Pre-Teen 2 Camp at Lake James Christian Camp in Angola, Indiana. We had between 80-85 campers. We lost several to homesickness, but the majority stuck it out and had a good time. This is the second year that I have been to this week and this camp. I had some great help. The faculty was mainly older, but we had several college age helpers and several young adults. We did not have a lot of children’s or youth ministers. All of the helpers were experienced in working at camp and most were very familiar with Lake James. I continue to be impressed with Lake James’ organization and commitment to helping youth grow in Christ.
Even though the majority of the faculty were older they got along great with the youth. The youth were told that we were there to help them grow and that we loved them. They believed us. I have never seen a group of youth respond so quickly to the bell when it was rung. The campers would quickly move from free time to chapel or classes. It was a joy to see. They paid attention during class time and chapel time. They paid attention during campfire. They seemed to take seriously what we were trying to do. The theme of the summer at Lake James was “The Kingdom Is At Hand.” We focused on anything that Jesus said about the Kingdom of God. We looked at parables, the sermon on the mount, and the person of Christ. He is the ruler of the Kingdom. We also had a class on becoming a part of the Kingdom and a class on responsibilities in the Kingdom. The classes went well.
On Thursday evening we offered an invitation and several of the youth came forward. You always want to make sure that they are coming for the right reason and with the right knowledge. Several had already started thinking about doing more in Christian service. Several came forward to be encouraged in their walk with Christ. Twelve came forward to be baptized. We contacted families and the twelve were baptized at closing time on Friday. Here is where I am going with my opening statement about generations. One camper was baptized by a junior faculty member who had never done a baptism. Brothers were baptized by their mother. Several were baptized by both father and mother. One man baptized his son and his nephew. The most touching scene came when an elderly man entered the lake and baptized his two great-grandsons. Everyone was touched. God moves through generations. Before the baptisms I challenged the family members to help their children on their faith journey. These youth just don’t look at youth ministers; they look at parents and grandparents. They look at aunts and uncles. And yes, they look at faculty members who are old enough to be their grandparents. We all work together to show these youth that the faith journey can be long and a huge blessing.
Most of the faculty is planning on returning next year. We will be a year older, but we will still have a message of truth and love to share with the youth. I want to thank the people of Meadowbrook for supporting Nathan and me as we were both at camp. Thank you for your prayers.
VBS is right around the corner!
I’m really excited because this will mark not only the first VBS that I’ve supervised, but also anniversary of my interview weekend!
Sometimes it takes really big moments and really big events for us to look back; to see how things have changed, but sometimes we have to do it in the small things; the little ways.
God introduced the idea to the Israelites right at the beginning.
The rainbow as a reminder of his promise.
The alters and memorials erected each time a new event occurred.
As I’ve been reading through the story, it excites me each time I see another pointing out of landmark, even the ones that don’t exist.
Because each and every landmark, pile of rocks, or name of a valley/river/mountain meant something to the author of that book.
We each have landmarks in our own life, whether we realize them or not.
For VBS we will be teaching the kids to be bold and courageous, and I believe a huge part of that is recognizing God’s work in our lives.
How do we do this?
You guessed it. We have to look back at the landmarks in our spiritual lives and see how far God has taken us.
Here is the great news: He isn’t done with us yet!
He’s going to continue to grow us and change us.
Our job is to praise him in the moment and build a landmark to remember for the future.
Don’t be afraid to tell your stories; show your scars; point out your landmarks.
Because we all need help remembering that God is on the move sometimes.
I would love to hear about your life landmarks! Feel free to call, text, email, or talk to me in person.
Who knows? We might even have a few landmarks in common!
Vacation Bible School Is Here
The Most Spectacular Show on Earth
Sunday, August 7 through Thursday, August 11, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily.
This year we are excited to invite old and young to enjoy “The Most Spectacular Show On Earth” where they will learn about some of the most amazing people who have ever served God and how they too can use their unique abilities to give God glory! Join us for stories, snacks, games, and more which will astound and encourage you! Open to kids from Pre-K to 5th grade. PLEASE GO TO BOTTOM OF HOME PAGE TO REGISTER ON-LINE.
Family Fun Festival Follows VBS
Our annual Family Fun Festival will take place on Saturday, Aug. 13, from Noon to 3 p.m. to celebrate the end of Vacation Bible School. Again this year we will have a water slide and hope to have the fire truck with water cannon from the Rochester Hills Fire Department. Hot dogs and frozen treats will be served, and the tent will be up to provide shade. Everyone is encouraged to come as we always have a good time. There is no charge. For more information please call the office (248-659-8481).
Sisters in Service is holding a 3-day Garage Sale on Thurs. Aug. 25, Fri., Aug. 26 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Sat., Aug. 27 (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at the home of Elaine Bright (2136 Oklahoma, Rochester Hills), as a fundraiser to add to the SIS treasury. The funds raised by SIS over the years have been used to benefit our church with purchases such as tables, tablecloths, kitchen supplies, ladies room re-decorating, wall art, and much more. Bring your family and friends and find treasures at the sale donated by SIS members.
Sisters in Service is Collecting Baby Supplies
Sisters in Service has set up a Pack n’Play in the foyer to collect any-size diapers, wipes and onesies for Crossroads Pregnancy Center in order to help the Center restock some of their supplies. Bring your items and place them in the Pack n’Play by August 15th. CPC is a non-profit, Christian organization dedicated to assisting abortion-vulnerable women and men involved in a crisis pregnancy, to choose life for their unborn children. They do a great work and we welcome the opportunity to partner with them. Learn more about CPC at Crossroads Pregnancy Center. If you have any questions please see Ruth Lindhagen.
This year’s Tea, sponsored by Sisters in Service, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 1. More details will follow. In the meantime, if you are interested in hosting a table or providing food, Kathi Tope has scheduled a planning meeting on Sat., Aug. 20 at 9:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. The SIS Tea is an annual event the ladies look forward to every year as they bring family and friends to enjoy delicious food and view the beautiful table settings arranged by our creative and talented members.
Donate Blood This Month
The American Red Cross will be at Meadowbrook on Thurs., Aug. 18, between 12:30 and 6:15 p.m.
Right now is an especially urgent time to donate blood; the Red Cross is fighting through an emergency blood shortage. As a thank you, the Red Cross will send donors this month a $5 Amazon.com gift card. To make an appointment, please call Theresa Meegan at 248-340-9215.
3rd Annual Scrapbook Crop at Meadowbrook
Meadowbrook will be hosting the third annual Scrapbook Crop on Sat., Sept. 17, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. It will be open to church attendees as well as to the community. Proceeds will benefit our Teen Ministries to help finance outings like CIY. Registration forms are available in the church foyer, or by contacting crop coordinator Cindy Gerstenlauer, email@example.com.
Most scrapbooking is done away from home, free from all the obligations and distractions, as that is when there is designated time to do it. When an actual date is made to scrapbook, then it is a happy event to spend time with others in a similar pursuit, and more gets done. Preparing for this event gets you organized and motivated to do something constructive with all those photos. You don’t have to feel guilty about this time away as typically you are working on something for your loved ones, who enjoy looking at the fruits of your labor. You come home refreshed with a sense of accomplishment.
Scrapbooking is a lot like quilting, only instead of working with cloth, you are working with photos. You are stitching together your lives onto scrapbook pages, just like stitching together the squares of a quilt. You care about your color choices, your techniques, and your placement. Scrapbook techniques change over time, just like anything else. Tools get invented and become popular. The craft or medium we use may vary, but our hearts and goals are the same, to put our lives onto fabric and paper. We chronicle who and what we care about. We chronicle our hopes and dreams and prayers.
The beauty of scrapbooking is that each person is making an album that suits them alone. Beginners and more advanced scrappers can comfortably sit in a crop together. Each person will take an idea you give them and make it their own at their own level and in their own style. Scrappers typically like to share their ideas, pages, techniques, and creations with each other. Supplies and equipment are often shared. When people are inspired it takes very little else for them to enjoy the day.
How Meadowbrook Members Can Help
Even more value can be added to the event by knowing you are helping others by your attendance and participation. Volunteer opportunities will be in the Sunday Bulletin and will be posted on the bulletin board in the foyer. It is especially important that the teens be present and willing to assist croppers as necessary, especially when unloading and loading their cars. Please save the date!
This month please pray for:
Training Christians for Ministry (TCM) for professors, students, staff and volunteers who are participating in the next session.
International Disaster Emergency Services (IDES) for those affected by natural disasters, most recently extreme flooding in West Virginia and major earthquake in Ecuador where people have lost their homes.
His House Christian Fellowship for new and returning students as they return to twelve campuses where His House has a presence.
International Conference on Missions (ICOM) as they prepare for this fall’s conference in Lexington, KY, where the theme is “MOBILIZE: Disciples Making Disciples.”
Great Lakes Christian College and Johnson University for new and returning students beginning their college year.
Due to the generosity of our congregation, we are celebrating “Christmas in July” with our missionary partners. Our Faith Promise Mission Fund is overflowing, and we are excited to share in the bounty with our thirteen missionary partners by adding $150 to July’s support checks.
From the Pew
by Art Drake
Let The Darkness Fear
“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:10-12 NLT
As I watch the evening news it seems each day brings fresh stories of the most horrible atrocities and senseless violence directed against innocent people. While each new act seems to try and top the last in brutality, we have become almost numb to the violence that would have shocked our parents. Surely, evil has been set loose on the earth.
While the security experts and national leaders try to propose solutions and calm their nation’s fears, few hold out much hope for a quick solution. In fact, it seems to be getting worse. However, there is something we can do. While we were singing praise songs on a recent Sunday, one phrase seemed to jump out to me, “Let the Darkness Fear”. Yes, I believe that instead of fearing the darkness, that darkness should fear us.
We are not fighting “flesh-and-blood-enemies”, but “against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world’, and “against mighty powers in this dark world”. And what does darkness fear the most? The answer is the light of God’s word. Darkness fears Jesus Christ.We are the best hope for the world. The best way to defeat evil and darkness is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, we must be prepared for that battle, for the evil one will do everything in his power to tempt us and divert us from our mission.
While we draw our strength from God and trust in Him for protection, we must do our part. As Ephesians 6:13-17 describes, we must don the belt of truth and the body armor of righteousness. We must put on the shoes of peace and hold the shield of faith. Finally, we must put on the helmet of salvation and take up the sword of the Spirit. America is in desperate need of God. Like it fell to the Greatest Generation to fight the Second World War, it falls to our generation to fight the present evil. If we don’t, then who will? Let us truly, “Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power”, and fight the good fight as soldiers of Jesus Christ.
In the next few months we will discuss more about fighting the good fight and what it means to be strong in Christ.
Jeremiah Cox – August 4
Steve & Phyllis Martin (Anniv.) – August 5
Mike & Cindy Gerstenlauer (Anniv.) – August 6
Jason Stallings – August 7
Don & Ruth Edwards (Anniv.) – August 10
Ken & Carolyn Bennett (Anniv.) – August 11
Corbin Hammond – August 13
Lynn Ross – August 13
Elaine Bright – August 14
Phyllis Martin – August 14
June Thomas – August 19
Brad & Mary Koster (Anniv.) – August 24
Ron Lindhagen – August 24
Ron Murphy – August 30
Bonnie Iseman – August 30