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Monday, August 31, 2009

Daily Read August 31, 2009

Proverbs 22:6, NIV

" 6 Train a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it."

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Daily Read August 30, 2009

Proverbs 22:4, NIV

" 4 Humility and the fear of the LORD
bring wealth and honor and life."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Daily Read August 29, 2009

2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NIV

" 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."

Jim

Friday, August 28, 2009

Daily Read August 28, 2009

Psalm 39:4-5, NIV

"4 "Show me, O LORD, my life's end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life.
5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Each man's life is but a breath."

It's amazing to me to think of how short my life really is. At this point in my journey, I'm 32 years old. Which to me sounds really old... but I know that there are some reading this who are much older than I... I realize that it's not that old.

But when you think about it, 32 years seems like a long time. Or even 60 or 80 years seems like a long time. But in the view of eternity... where time has no measure... but it just is...

32, 60, 74, 81 and 15 years really are a phantom (as verse 6 says).

Help us, Lord, to realize today how fleeting our lives really are.

Jim

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Daily Read August 27, 2009

1 Corinthians 15:54-57, NIV

" 54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."
55"Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?" 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Good news... Good News INDEED!

Jim

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Coldplay - Strawberry Swing video in chalk...

This Coldplay video is pretty sweet... and creative...

Jim

Check it out HERE.

enjoying a rare Wednesday off...

I'm enjoying a rare Wednesday off today.

My usual day off at church is Friday. It's that day primarily because that's the day that everyone else takes off. I would much rather have a day earlier in the week... like Monday (but that's Staff meeting day)... because I would feel more at ease about ignoring phone calls, emails and texts if I knew that I had the rest of the week to deal with "whatever."

But I am enjoying this Wednesday off. I switched my day to today because of our Fall Kickoff event "Messfest" on Saturday night. My day will be spent tilling up the pit and dragging garden hoses around to make sure that it is getting sufficient water to make mud soup. And Saturday will be spent getting ready for the festivities.

So, today is my day off... and it's feeling pretty good.

Jim

Daily Read August 26, 2009

1 Corinthians 15:3-8, NIV

"3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me (Paul) also, as to one abnormally born. "

There's the gospel in a nutshell... that Christ died for our sins and that on the third day God raised him from the dead to prove that he had power over sin and death.

Jim

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Small Group letters... 93 of them!!!


Much of my day today was spent getting small group letters ready for the fall. Each letter contains a letter and a self-addressed and stamped response card.

There are 93 of them!!! That's a lot of stamping, folding, printing, stuffing and licking...

But I'm praying that we'll get a bunch of students connected and growing in small groups!!

Jim

Apple's "Get a Mac" ad: "Surprise"

Here's the other... Love em!!!

Jim

Check it out HERE

Top of the Line - New Mac compromise commercial

Apple's got out a great new commercial...

Enjoy!!!

Jim

Check it out HERE

Daily Read August 25, 2009

There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan
that can succeed against the LORD." Proverbs 21:30, NIV

Monday, August 24, 2009

Daily Read August 24, 2009

Job 5:17-18, NIV

"17 "Blessed is the man whom God corrects;
so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.

18 For he wounds, but he also binds up;
he injures, but his hands also heal."

Sunday, August 23, 2009

learning to read the Bible

Here is the video that we showed before the sermon on 8.22 featuring one of our high school students. Enjoy!

Jim

Check it out HERE

Final Bell Week 3 Resources

As I said this morning in the sermon, if you didn't get to hear it, click HERE, but I want to put resources in your hands or tools in your toolbelt. This morning I threw out a lot of different ideas. Here are links to those that I mentioned, plus others that I may not have had time to this morning.

Since we are part of the community, if you have a resource that has help you amp up your Bible reading, why not post it in the comments at the bottom? If you do, I'll add it to the list and maybe that thing that you do that seems like nothing, might be something ground breaking for someone else...

Here are links to the ideas under their outline point.

Tips for Finishing Strong

1. START

Free online Bible - Bible Gateway

Free online Bible - YouVersion (same people who put together the free iPhone/iPod Touch Bible)


2. START SMALL

One Year Bible

One Minute Bible for Students - 366 Daily 1 Minute reading geared for High School or Middle School Students

3 Month Read through the New Testament plan - the one that I handed out this morning


3. Get a USEABLE BIBLE

New International Version Study Bible

English Stardard Version Bible

New Living Translation

All three of these Bibles are referenced as the "study" version. Study Bibles are good because they give you notes and introductions that you often don't get in a regular version. Life Application Bibles are good choices and come in both New International Version and New Living Translations.


4. Use TECHNOLOGY.

Free Bible for Smartphones (iPhones, Blackberry, etc) - iTunes link

Logos Bible Software

One Year Bible Audio Podcast


5. Take advantage of RESOURCES.

Best Commentaries

New International Commentary Series

The Bible Speaks Commentary Series

Heartland Community Church - Rockford - Mike Breaux (pronounced Bro) preacher

Southeast Louisville Christian Church - Louisville, KY - Dave Stone and Kyle Idleman preachers

Willow Creek Community Church - South Barrington - Bill Hybels senior pastor

Family Christian Stores - locally in Batavia, Elgin and Naperville

Bible on CD options at Family Christian Stores

Strong's Bible Concordance


6. Get SUPPORT.

FVCC Small Groups - Jerry Williams


7. Use FREE STUFF.

Saddleback Community Church Drive Time Devotions - they work through a book of the Bible at a time

Verse of the Day on Twitter


8. Invest in MEMORIZATION.


As I think of others or as others suggest some, I will update the list. So, check back Tuesday or Wednesday and there should be some new resources up.

Jim

Daily Read August 23, 2009

Psalm 37:23-24, NIV

"If the Lord delights in a man's way,
he makes his steps firm;
though he stumble, he will not fall,
for the Lord upholds him with his hand."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Daily Read August 22, 2009

23 He who guards his mouth and his tongue
keeps himself from calamity.
Proverbs 21:23, NIV

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Fall Semester is upon me...


The fall 2009 semester is officially upon me.

I finished up my summer class last Thursday. And I was hoping to avoid my fall reading for a week or so. I guess that week is up. I was hiding behind the fact that my books hadn't arrived for the fall semester yet... but the last one arrived yesterday for my class which begins on September 2.

At this point, I have completed 54 credit hours towards the 75 required for my Masters of Divinity. I'm currently on pace to graduate next spring 2011.

This semester I've got a couple of required classes coming up:
  • Basic Types of Counseling Ministry (Dr. Boatman)
  • Biblical Leadership for the Church Today (Dr. Green)
It should be an interesting semester. I still grumble and feel that required courses in graduate work is a little silly... but whatever. That's what's coming up this semester.

Now, to get reading it...

Jim

diet update... week 2


Well...
I'm officially two weeks into this current diet. And at this point, I'm happy to say that this morning, I am:



-268.0 pounds


That's officially down 10 pounds from when I started 2 weeks ago (first post HERE). That's not great... but it's still not bad. The food has been pretty good and so far I'm sticking with it.

Although it would be great to post next week another 10 pounds off...

Jim

Daily Read August 21, 2009

3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Delight yourself in the Lord
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:3-4 NIV

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Obama and health care sermons in church??

I was reading a little article today (it's HERE), where President Obama was basically asking Jewish and Christian leaders to preach health care reform to their congregations!

Huh?

""I am going to need your (religious leaders...) help in accomplishing necessary reform," Obama said...Obama told the rabbis that "we are God's partners in matters of life and death" and asked them to "tell the stories of health care dilemmas to illustrate what is a stake" in their sermons, Moline wrote.
"Critics say Obama's message seemed to "cross a line" and imply a kind of "scriptural or holy support for the program.""

You think!!!
It's interesting that he would stoop to this level. Funny thing to me is that if a preacher stood up and told his congregation who to vote for or not vote for in an election, the ACLU would have him and the church sued into the ground. But now it profits his agenda to have churches get on his side.

You've got to be kidding me.

Sorry President Obama. Health care reform and the gospel are miles apart. Since I'm preaching this weekend, I think I'll stick to the gospel. And maybe you should steer clear of telling preachers what you think God is telling you.

I've gotta agree with Rev. Barry Lynn...
"I can't imagine why it would be appropriate for a president even to suggest a partnership with God somehow was connected to his ideas for health care," said the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.
"Whenever politicians give a message that implies that God is on their side on an issue ... this always troubles me."


Jim

Daily Read August 20, 2009

"1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, NIV


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New School Year Prayer...


This morning as I was driving to 6 am Bible Study, I began to think about some of who students who are starting their new school year today. Some don't start until next week, but West Aurora schools and middle school start today.

As I was driving up to the church at about 7:15 am, I realized that many of these students would be heading into the building (if they weren't already there) for their first day.

And I prayed for them.
  • Prayed that they would make the most of the opportunities that God puts before them.
  • Prayed that they would realize that God may have put that person next to them in chemistry, calculus, world history, American literature or physical education rather than the teacher or the alphabet.
  • Prayed that some of the habits of this summer like daily Bible reading, prayer, quiet time and Scripture memorization don't disappear in the face of homework.
  • Prayed that they would be careful with their time and how much their put on their plate.
  • Prayed that as they walked their hallways, they would look for opportunities to serve rather than being served.
  • Prayed that they would value their education as many around the world don't have the same opportunity.
  • Prayed that they would respect and serve their teachers.
  • Prayed that they would stand up for what God says is right in the face of peer pressure and fitting in.
  • Prayed that God would bring into their path people who are hurting and in need of someone to point them to the source of help and healing... Jesus.
  • Prayed that they would have the opportunity to share their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord with a friend who doesn't know Jesus.
  • Prayed that our student ministry would be a place where they can bring folks from their school and they can be welcomed and introduced to our Savior Jesus Christ.
If you're reading this and you're a member of Fox Valley, would you join me in praying for our students who are going back to school in the Aurora school districts? The students in Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles and others return next week, feel free to pray these things for them as well.

If you're not a member of Fox Valley, but are reading this somewhere else... Please pray for the students who call your church their home. I'm sure your youth minister and youth ministry would appreciate it.

Jim

Monday, August 17, 2009

Daily Read August 17, 2009

"32 And what more shall I say?
I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37 They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated– 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.

39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect." Hebrews 11:32-40, NIV


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Daily Read August 16, 2009

"b Beth
9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By living according to your word.

10 I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.

11 I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.

12 Praise be to you, O LORD;
teach me your decrees.

13 With my lips I recount
all the laws that come from your mouth.

14 I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.

15 I meditate on your precepts
and consider your ways.

16 I delight in your decrees;
I will not neglect your word." Psalm 119:9-16, NIV

Changes coming to the blog...


There are some design and lay out changes coming to the blog in the next few weeks. I've got an incredible friend, David Norman, down in Texas who is building me a new template which should be ready in a short time. So, don't be surprised when you jump on and it's changed.

Don't worry... I'm not jumping on the "leave blogger and run to Wordpress bandwagon" or another blog posting site. So you won't have to change your feed in Google Reader or wherever you are currently reading my blog if you aren't visiting the site itself.

Just doing a little remodeling. Think of it as remodeling the old house with the same address!

Jim

Final Bell Week 2


This morning was the second week of the Final Bell series at FVCC.

We talked and identify obstacles and enemies of regular Bible reading. It was a good message and I felt confident with it. Second service was really great.

If you missed it, you can listen online right HERE. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ready for snow... on a 90 degree day...


Yesterday, Jackie and I went over to the "Chicago Premium Outlets" to get some new walking/running shoes. I've been needing some for a while and I had a gift certificate to the Nike store, so we went.

And she surprised me when she asked if I wanted to go into the Spyder store. They sell awesome ski gear and I really love their stuff. I've been needing a new ski coat, my old Columbia is getting pretty rough.

But then we starting talking seriously about getting a new coat!!! It blew me away. Then she picked up a pair of matching pants/bibs for skiing and told me to try them on.

After I did, she told me that she wanted to buy them for me!!! I couldn't believe it!!!

So, here they are... They are my Christmas presents early... but I don't care cause they are awesome and I love them!!!


It's a 90 degree day outside, I have to go and mow the yard soon... But I'll be thinking about snow all day!!! I can't wait to go skiing!


Jim







Daily Read August 15, 2009

"12So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! 13No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." 1 Corinthians 10:12-13, NIV


Friday, August 14, 2009

Good reminder about communication...


I got a good reminder tonight of communication... and how most of the times people can't read my mind... which is a shame.

I had a bunch of student leaders over to my house tonight for pizza and to make some plans for our upcoming Messfest (fall kick off event). So I called Pizza Hut to order some pizzas and wanted to try their new pizza rolls. In conversation with the guy I was ordering the pizza from, I asked him how many pizza rolls come in an order. He responded that there were 4 rolls in each order and then immediately asked me how many I would like. I assumed that he meant "how many pizza rolls would you like?" So I answered 8.

He actually meant, "How many orders of 4 pizza rolls would you like?" So when the pizza guy arrived, there were 8 orders of pizza rolls in the bag (pictured above).

Note to self: Remember to try to be clear in communication.

Not everyone knows what you're thinking.

Which is likely a really good reminder for evangelism...

Jim

Done with summer class... Baptism and the Lord's Supper

Yesterday was my last day of my summer class down at LCS, "Baptism and the Lord's Supper in the Early Church.

It was a really good class. There was a lot of reading, which I didn't like. My summer is jammed with so much... CIY, studies, Cedar Point, Jr. High Camp, vacation, etc, etc, etc... that the reading was a bit burdensome at times.

But it was good material. Much of what we read was primary documents (in English) from church fathers (Augustine, Cyril, Cyprian, Tertullian, etc) concerning those two topics, baptism and the Lord's Supper. It was great material... although at times it was tough to put the pieces together. Because we weren't reading from one textbook primarily with other books to supplement, sometimes it was tough to put the pieces together.

One thing that was encouraging. Being a Restoration Movement guy (and if you don't know what that means, ask... I'd be happy to tell you), I was encouraged by how much our movement (Christian Churches) does that is in line with the early church's practices on these two vital church functions. As I read I found myself seeing in their practices what we do in our practice. Now, not exactly in a few obvious places. But it would seem that for the most part, we line up with them. And that was encouraging.

I thought I would have a couple of days or maybe a week off before beginning my fall class readings (Basic Counseling and Biblical Leadership for Today). Mostly because I ordered my books, but they hadn't arrived yet. Well... lo and behold I went out to the mailbox this afternoon and there was the first one...

So I guess I can't hide now...

Jim

And by the way... I got an "A" for the summer class...

Diet... Week 1


Week 1 of the diet is complete. Although I don't really feel like this was a good first week for the diet.

But first... the number. At the end of week 1, I've lost 7.5 pounds! Sweet!! But more than that, I feel pretty good about how I feel.

I don't think though that this was a first good week. With me having school this week and being in Lincoln for a couple of days, I was cruising along and then school hit. Which involved two fast food meals and 1 chinese lunch (not buffet... just lunch). So I felt that the first week number could have been better if that hadn't happened.

But I feel good.
I like the eating portions on this diet. Some of the diets that I've been on it's felt like the lunch portion was a leaf of lettuce... and that's no good. But this one I actually feel like I'm eating something...

So that's good.

Watch next week for next week's updated number and total!

Jim

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Chick-Fil-A in Aurora, IL on Google...

I found out today (thanks to Sandy) that if you Google "Chick-fil-a Aurora, IL", my little blog is #3 in the list. That's pretty sweet!

I posted about the probability way back HERE.

Can't wait until it happens!!!

Jim

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Low on sleep...

It's seemed, the last couple of days, that I haven't been getting enough sleep.

It started on Sunday. I was up early (4:45 am) to get up to the church to get my mind prepared to preach (sermon HERE). Then Monday morning, I was up again at 3:15 am to take a couple of friends to the airport (I slept when I got back... but that's still early). Then I worked hard all day Monday at church and to get my schoolwork wrapped up for my summer class. Tuesday morning, I was up early again (5:45 am) for a 7 am meeting. This morning (Wednesday), I was up early (5:45 am) as we stayed in Peoria with some friends so it shortened my drive to LCS for class. Tomorrow morning will be another 5:45 am day...

I'm just feeling behind on sleep. Anyone else feeling that too? I realize that I'm not the only one with a rough schedule... I'm just sharing...

Jim

Sunday, August 09, 2009

August 9th Sermon... Final Bell, week 1


I preached this morning in both of our adult worship services. (If you missed or were otherwise unable to attend, HERE is the link to the MP3 on fvcc.com.)

It was a good message. I felt confident about it and second service went very well this morning. For some reason, and it's one of those things that regular speakers understand but most others don't, I couldn't get in the groove first service. Everyone seemed to feel that it went well, but for me, I just wasn't there for about the first 8 minutes. Second service was much better. I came out at the bell ready to go! (A little inside joke... we showed the training scene from Rocky followed by a picture of Rocky from Rocky III with my face photoshopped in... and I came out with boxing gloves... It was classic! That's the only time that I wish we videotaped our messages...)

Today's message is the first of three on a topic that I love... (I blogged the Scripture verses for this text yesterday HERE) Bible Study and personal discipleship. We've invited the FVCC congregation to help us with a couple of polls about how often they read their Bibles and what keeps them from reading. Results are flowing in (check them out HERE).

So it should be fun.

But right now I'm tired. I was out of bed this morning at 4:45 am and at church about 6:15 am. So it's been a long day and hopefully I can go to bed soon!

Jim

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Preaching in the morning...


I always get nervous before I preach in adult service. Even after nearly 10 years of ministry, countless messages to students and quite a few to adults, I still get nervous when I teach in the main service.

I feel like I'm ready... but I still get nervous.

Here's what I'm preaching on tomorrow morning (as I start a 3 week series)...
Philippians 3:12-14
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Psalm 119:1-3
Hebrews 4:12

So... I guess I should hit the sack so that I can get up to the church early in the morning.

Jim

Daily Read August 8, 2009

" 2 O LORD my God, I called to you for help
and you healed me.

3 O LORD, you brought me up from the grave;
you spared me from going down into the pit." Psalm 30:2-3, NIV


Friday, August 07, 2009

Daily Read August 7, 2009

6"I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building." 1 Corinthians 3:6-9, NIV

That's a good reminder... God is the one who is responsible for the growth, not me. I'm just a worker...

Jim

Starting the diet... again...

This summer has been crazy...

If you don't think so, just read some of the posts from the past couple of months. And with all the traveling that I did in the spring, it wasn't much better. Usually summer is the big time for me to hit the diet trail. My goal usually is to lose more than I put on over the winter. But that just hasn't happened with all my traveling (CIY... camp... Cedar Point... vacation... etc... etc...).

So today, we are starting the diet again... (I'm 32 years old and I think I've started about that many diets). My wife says that I will like this one... but I'm thinking that if I liked it, she wouldn't have to call it a diet.

But we'll see what happens.

I don't have a current weight to start off because I haven't been on the scale yet today. But I will later and I'll edit in the weight (_278.0_).

Here we go again.

Jim

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Daily Read August 5, 2009

14 "Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:14 NIV

Patience is so hard.

It is especially hard in a culture that honors and in many cases worships speed. We live in an age of high speed internet (cause really, who still has dial up... and your internet is all about how fast it is... DSL vs. Cable vs...). We live in an age of instant messages through facebook... text messages (that just beeped in my pocket)... drive thrus... fast cars... morning commutes... TiVo and On Demand movies available any time you like at the click of your remote. And the list could continue...

We aren't very good at patience.
I'm not very good at patience.

I get frustrated when I feel like the light is too long... or the person in front of me is driving too slow... or I have to use the "edge network" on my iPhone instead of "3G" (seriously, I do... check my twitter feed)... I'm not very good at patience.

But this morning, Psalm 27 reminded me to wait for the Lord. To be patient.

Paul reminds us that patience is a mark of the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives: "22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit." Galatians 5:22-25, NIV

Patience is something that I need to work on... today...

Jim

Monday, August 03, 2009

Daily Read August 4, 2009

10"I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought." NIV 1 Corinthians 1:10

I read this this morning and I thought a couple of things. (And I certainly don't have the answers to these questions as much bigger and smarter minds than mine have tried to tackle them in the past and failed.)
  • What would our church look like if it was "perfectly united"?
  • What would THE Church look like if it was "perfectly united"?
  • What might the Kingdom of God and the Church accomplish on earth if it was "perfectly united"?
Like I said, I don't have answers... but there is something powerful in thinking about the question. And if you have answers to those questions, please feel free to share!

Jim

A lot of encouragement

Yesterday morning was a hectic morning for me at church. I had been out of town since July 21st. First, I was gone to Cedar Point with our high school ministry. Then, I came back and immediately left for a week's worth of vacation.

So getting in and getting ready for church after having been gone that long, coupled with the fact that I was gone the whole week before to camp, made the morning a little crazy.

But we had a great lesson. We talked about Mary and Jeremiah and how they followed God's call on their lives. As we wrapped up the lesson, one the students interrupted me and addressed the whole class.

It seems the week before they took it upon themselves to write me a "thank you note." And Hannah presented it to me.

Wow!


Here is the note:



Those of you who are in ministry realize that encouragement is often few and far between. Often rather than "thanks," we receive criticism. And most of the time, it's from the very folks that we are trying to serve.

It was great to come back from vacation and receive a lot of encouragement. This note will continue to be encouragement over the next several month as I taped it to the wall above my desk.

Thanks guys!

Jim