Saturday, November 6, 2010

Preaching/teaching through Jeremiah

This week we will begin a series through the book of Jeremiah. This is a great book to preach from; especially to youth because Jeremiah was just a boy himself when God called him to preach to Israel. Also, the times of Jeremiah are parallel to our modern day...corrupt government, and the love of many have grown cold because everyone is consumed with seeking their own way instead of God's way...the one and only true way to find peace and meaning in life. Jeremiah was sent with a message of repentance, which was not received very well. Tune in and see what God says to us today through the writings of the prophet Jeremiah

PD's weekend wrap

My take on Halloween!
a week after halloween...the snickers and Reeses are gone, along w/the 3 musketeers and more twix, kit-kats, m&ms or milky way bars...all that's left to filch from the kids' candy bags is that bottom of the bag stuff that noone really wants to eat...but you do anyway cuz that's all thats left. Now I'm chewing on this apple/lemon flavored taffy-like thing...not sure what it's called. I think next year they should start earlier and make them stay out later. if they come back w/less than a full bag, send them back out...and tell them..ask for the good stuff...none of that cheap $1 bag/family dollar crap candy!
‎...or, when you start sorting through the candy, you know, for safety reasons, you just excercise parental preference and put some of the good stuff aside for "quality assurance purposes." Well, you do have the task of testing the candy to make sure it is not poisonous or filled w/razor blades or needles. Just tell the kids you think that pile over there looks suspicious and you will do the dirty work and test it to determine if it is okay to eat...and you'll let them know the results in a day or two...after all threats of danger will have passed...literally as the trick or treat loot exits your digestive track.

Is it Christmas already?
All of a sudden everyone is talking about Christmas. I saw it posted on several of my facebook friends' profiles...48 shopping days til Christmas...and the stores are all ablazing w/Christmas cheer, they like the sound of ring, ring, ring...of cash registers that is! Halloween just went by and we're jumping right into Christmas already! what about the big turkey day/thanksgiving that falls in between. That is my favorite holiday...turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, all smothered w/gravy...finish it off with a slice or two of pumpkin pie and then work it off by watching some college we're talking! After I get my fill of my favorite T-day fixins' then I'll start getting into the Christmas spirit...but not until I fill my pie hole w/some pie!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

big life questions

One of my 13yr. old son's 8th grade classmates had posted the following questions on his facebook status:

Why am I here?

Who am I?

Where do I belong?

Why do I think of you?

Why do I dream about you?

Why do I Exist?

I thought that was pretty awesome for a jr. high schooler, but then I remembered being about the same age when I began asking those big life questions. We all ask these questions at some point in our lives. So I asked some of the youths that I know within this age group and I found it to be true. 90+% of them are already seeking the answers to these Big Life Questions. So, I am embracing the challenge and thankful for the opportunity to help some of them find the answers to these questions and point them to the One who holds the keys to the great mysteries of life; the hidden truths and abstract ideas that cannot be seen with the naked eye, but can be seen through the eyes of faith, as they transition from being children to teenagers...and onto adulthood. I pray that they will continue to ask the Big Life Questions and seek the answers and find a personal relationship with the one true God!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Father, forgive me! It's been one whole year since my last blog entry

Wow! can't believe a whole year has gone by since I last posted here, but indeed it has been! One year and a day to be exact.

So what have I/we been up to? What's new at CORE Church of Troy? 2010 has been the most challenging year I have faced since we arrived in Troy nearly 5 years challenging that I really, truly wanted to give up and go and do something else with my life. I made a new year's resolution at the end of '09 to be more passionate about ministry and life and general. I truly wanted to pursue and experience the abundant, joy filled life that Jesus came to give us and to pass that onto others. However, the joy-stealer (aka Satan), kept at it, using little things to get at me. But we have pressed on and persevered, and here we are at the near end of 2010...still pursuing the great commission call here in Troy, NY.

Major developments for 2010 so far
  1. Moved from the dilapitated storefront we were renting. The landlord wanted to up the rent and additional $200.00 per month without fixing any of the building's prevailing problems. The city of Troy's code enforcement unit came through the building back in March and shut it down for various code violations, giving us until April 1 to vacate. We began meeting at the church parsonage, which we continued to do through the spring and summer months. We also had church in the park several times during this past summer. However, we saw our small group grow from a dozen or so, to about 20, and our small home was stretched for space. Don't know how house churches handle the issue of growth; perhaps by multiplying house churches. We, however, thought it might be good to find affordable space that can accomodate church growth.
  2. Our move to Troy Family YMCA
  3. We looked at a few available spaces during the spring and summer months, but none that we felt were adequate. So we decided to wait it out and trust that God would lead us to where He wants us to be. I had been thinking about our local YMCA for some time, and after praying about it I approached the branch director who was very receptive of our proposal to meet in YMCA space. We had out first meeting at the Y on October 3. Five Sundays have now passed since we signed the usage/rental agreement. There are a few bugs to work out, but for the most part, the arrangement is working nicely. The best part is that the YMCA provides a safe, family friendly environment, which is more conducive to church growth. We are now talking with the YMCA staff about expanding usage of their space to possibly include their teen/rec room, whic would be a nice incentive for the many kids who are part of our fellowship.

    3. Embracing Youth Ministry. One of the good problems we have encountered and have since embraced is the large percentage of youth who makeup our fellowship. about two-thirds of our congregation are under the age of 16. We have learned the value of collaboration, as we have teamed up with Grace Fellowship's Life:redefined youth ministry, led by youth pastor Jason Coombs. Jason and the youth ministry team at Grace Fellowship have been very gracious and accomodating as we have begun bringing as many as 15-20 kids from Troy to their Thursday night jr.high youth meetings, and a few more who attend Wednesday evenings' teen/high school version.

    4. Looking forward to what lies ahead. We are greatly anticipating what God will do as we continue to reach out with His love to the youth and families in our community