YOU Can Help KaBoom! Vilonia

Thank you so much for loving us! I know many of you feel we've forgotten about your humble offerings to help but We Have Not! It takes time to pull a community back together after something like this or to even assess needs so  thank you to those still waiting in the wings to jump right in when called upon!

I will remember our CovenantA need has arisen and we need Your Help!

Vilonia Is Getting a PUBLIC PARK/PLAYGROUND on April 18th, 2015!
We're talking "Extreme Park Makeover Show" is going down in our town and you can be a part of it!

This is something I've been passionate about since we moved her and I'm so excited to see how God has chosen to let that happen. The local schools have awesome playgrounds that are open to the public but that's only when the schools themselves aren't using them. Totally understandable but as a homeschool mom with lots of littles, I'd love a place to get my kids out of the house for some great educational outdoor playing, meet friends for a picnic, or just get the wiggles out. And now its happening and I didn't do any footwork. hehe

A group called KaBOOM!​ will be assisting our community in building an amazing playground, funded by Kimberly-Clark, in the same space that last years tornado destroyed the former baseball fields and tiny playground equipment.

Thus far, the professionalism of this group is top notch! Maggie was selected as on of 35 out of 300+ students to be a part of the Design Day and therefore I get to be a part of the adult planning team. eeek!

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The night of the Design Day meeting, the kids sat around and dreamed up their ideas for the perfect park. They chatted with news reporters and colored inspirational drawings. Maggie, in preparation for the meeting, drew no fewer than 30 ideas in a notebook to share with the group {she didn't really know how this was going down} so she copied as many of those down onto her giant paper as she could. She ask friends prior to the day what ideas they has so she could share them as well. <3 That child!
After the kids finished up, the parents compiled their ideas, looked through the gazillion options KaBoom! had for equipment and even down to the colors tried to plan a park of our kids dreams.

Design C{just an example of the possibilities}

Right now, we are currently in the 6 weeks of planning between Design Day and BUILD DAY. There are tons of details for our town to work through and figure out. There are many things I'm attempting to help but with but the main ones I'm focusing on right now that I need YOUR help with are:

How YOU Can Help!

  1. We are collecting toilet paper cardboard rolls! You know, the inside thing you throw away or make pretend binoculars out of and then throw away. Yeah, we are collecting those for a fun project since our playground is being funded by the Kimberly-Clark's "Tube-Free" Scott toilet paper campaign. Don't toss'm. Bring them to ME :D
  2. We need tools! THIS is the list of tools needs and if you have 1 or 5 of those items, we would LOVE to borrow them for 3 days {prep day 1 and 2, and some of them for build day} but better yet, if you have connections with a hardware store that could donate or loan a giant number of them at once, that would be Even better!
  3. We need YOU! There are so many ways we need you but we definitely need committed hands to show up on BUILD DAY, April 18th, from 8am until about 3pm right here in Vilonia {I'll get ya directions ;) } We need help ranging from helping play with small children, moving mulch, drilling equipment together, serving food, registering the volunteers as they come in, and to I'm sure I missed something else. This would be great for a short mission trip or youth event. Signing up your Group to help would be a guaranteed fun day they'd remember forever. The Valley will use heading up a Serve Here day with our crew!
    Here is the Link to sign up online or you can print this Reigstration Form for Vilonia KaBoom! Park Build Day for large groups and then input them each. :D

If you have any questions or have another possible way you'd like to help, hit me up! Thanks in advance!!! This is going to be so fun.

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An Open Letter to Our Former Youth Group

Dear Former Youth Group {an open letter to generation Xers and Millennials}

Dear former youth group,

I'm here to say I'm sorry. I'm sorry we told you not have sex, do drugs, or drink alcohol. I'm sorry we guilted you into devoting your midweek to our service rather than your God-given-interest. I'm sorry we taught you self-righteous religion rather than the true character of God.

Here's the thing. The Bible isn't a book mostly about YOU and what YOU should be doing. It's a book about GOD and what HE has done.

We unintentionally taught you that that every story in the Bible somehow points to you. We explained that your behavior was the ultimate dictator of salvation. Though we never would have come out and said it knowing it was totally false, we let you believe that your behavior swayed God in some way, good or bad. We painted a picture of God as a Santa-figure who sees you when you were sleeping, sees when you're awake, knows if you've been bad or good, so please be good for goodness sake.

The Bible does have guidelines for how life works best. Why wouldn't it. It's a story about the Creator and His creation. It's bound to come up because the story of God and what He's done is made even more amazing in light of how things were supposed to work, how we jaked it up, and how His genius master plan is going to redeem us even though we don't deserve anything.

Many of you in our youth group were coming to 'church' alone. You're parents weren't devout Christ-followers or even if they were, they were possibly relying on us to teach about God. Most adult use youth group like a public school, trusting that the fundamentals of "Christianity" are the responsibility of the staff at a 'church'. Because of that, I'm even more sorry we didn't show you complete truths.

Every story in the Bible points to Jesus. Not you. You're not supposed to attempt to find yourself in the stories of Noah, Mosis, or David. You're supposed to seek God and His kingdom. Every story whispers His name.

As I watch you grow-up, go to college, move, get jobs, get married, have kids I see religion failing you. No matter how much attempting to be 'good' you can handle it will always leave you empty. Life won't unfold into the christian-karma-crap we filled you with. Because of that you will run. You are running. You're leaving the Church in droves because morality has failed you.

I'm sorry I helped lead you to this place but now I'm hear to fight to lead you back to Christ. To show you His true character. Every aspect of our life bleeds the DNA of who we think God is. Your view of who God is the foundation for your belief system and you believe system determines your actions. Out of our love for you in our youth group, we targeted the only thing we could see, your actions, in an attempt to determine if you were a Christ-follower.

Maybe we had a savior complex, maybe we were just that ingnorant. Painting a picture of a self-serving, smoke and lights, hype and games, fame and fortune religion remorsefully. God's taught us so much over the last few years and we hope to chase down the dechurched generation that we had a hand in running off.

Sincerely yours,

Regretful Youth Pastors of Generation Xers and Millennials

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“Be Holy as I am Holy” Ehh?

As Christians, especially those of us who are "lifers" {been in church since the womb}, have a hard time naturally "sharing the gospel". Can I get an amen? ;)

I think the biggest reason this is unnatural is because we're taught so often that we are to be holy. And we are. And we don't get what that means. We are supposed to be holy -set apart- but that doesn't mean separate [from "heathen" things]. Set apart does not mean separate. Christians are "set apart for God". We are chosen for a purpose. We are chosen to be a part of God's plan.

I think it's kinda like a recipe. Let's say the recipe ingredients calls for 2 cups of mozzarella cheese but in the directions is says, "Mix in 1 and 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese in to [yada yada] and set aside the other 1/2 cup to sprinkle on the top at the end. We are the 1/2 cup of cheese set aside for the top. We are set to the side because we have a different, more specific purpose, not because we aren't to be part of the main dish. God has a plan to spice up the recipe!

Holiness: Set Apart as Part of the Plan to Spice Up Life

Well, hopefully that made any sense. You know He's a lot smarter than my cheesey illustration and our purpose is much more grandiose than extra creaminess. {budump bump} ;) Basically what I mean is, we are not made to huddle together with those who believe, think, look, parent, talk, dress, etc just like us. We're meant to get our hands dirty with the real ingredients of life. It's not always pretty, it will be a LOT of messy, sometime challenging, but it'll taste awesome when it's done.

Be Holy -------> Jesus -------> Friend of Sinners

We're told to be holy. Holy like Jesus. Jesus was a friend of sinners. So what should we be doing? Befriending sinners! Not walking along side them at the store/game/restaurant and thinking how much better was are because we follow Jesus. We are to break down our misplaced pride, remind ourselves we are just as sinful as the next person {follower or not}, and actually care about others.

Holy means set apart for a purpose. Not just tossed to the side to be looked. That's wasteful and there is no waist in the economy of God. Don't separate yourself and become useless. Be Holy as Christ was Holy.

 

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The Great Commission: not so scary

Missional living is about using every aspect of your life to live for the mission of God. In order to do that, we need to know His mission.

God's Mission: make disciples of all nations.

empowered way of living that will have world changing results

Okay, now that we've got that, now to do we do that? It's kind of scary and overwhelming when you first hear that. How in the world am I supposed to make disciples much less of all nations? The same way you eat an elephants! One. Bite. At. A. Time.

Matthew 28: 18-20
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

My understanding of this passage comes from years of confusion, fear, and several wise dudes. Let's break it down!

  • Go- as you are going {recognize anything- yeah- live by it}, while you're doing life.
  • Therefore- He's referring back to the "given all authority" buisness right before this. That means, because He/you have been given all authority in heave and earth, do this...and don't be a chicken because He's qualified and equipped you with everything you need to do it and do it well.
  • all the rest- you're going to do this by living like Jesus lived

See, not so scary. It's not a long list of do's and don'ts or a bundle of tracks. The great commission is an empowered way of living that will have world changing results. God has invited us to be everyday radicals; to join in the journey, mission, story, adventure of His that He's going on with or without us.

 

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Memorial

I love taking pictures. Pictures of basically everything. I think I may have an unhealthy fear of loosing my memory some day and these captured snapshots will be all I have of the past.

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I started a {multiple} cute little scrapbook(s) for Mags {my 6yo and eldest} as soon as she got here. I loved coordinating the paper and choosing which adorable picture from each month I would memorialize in that month's page. We all know where that went with baby number two! Don't get me wrong, I was not naive enough to think this wouldn't happen so I planned strategically to minimize the things I kept and the professional pictures I took. I was preparing to be overwhelmed as other children came into our family. I only did what I thought I could pull off with the next kids. Well, I almost made it...I printed pictures for Izzie's scrapbook. lol And we're kinda close to the same number/aged pictures for each child hanging on the wall.

This is a big deal to us. Remembering. I was never one of the cool kids who complained about History class in school. I kinda understood that history was for us to learn from our past and I really enjoyed story. Names and places are fine but unless they were attached to a significant story, it was lost on me.

As Christians, remembering is what we're built on. If story hadn't been pasted down, we would be way worse off than we already are. Knowing there's a loving creator whom we offended yet has a history of chasing down His people passionately. Story after story telling of our attempts to make things right and then falling back into the arms of a never-shaken Savior. Every story in the bible points to Him, Jesus. Stories of conquering battles, unmerited love, and ultimate sacrifice.

Often, when we are touched by something, {person, event, words} we like to memorialize it. We never want to forget what happen or when it happened. It becomes a cornerstone on which we started something new and want to build on it.

As Christians we need to remember. To build on the heritage of faith before us BUT the ultimate mission of God is not to make sure everyone remembers where we've been, what He's done in the past, or even what we stand on/for. "We need not memorialize Jesus but Build The Church." -Michael Frost {Sentralized 2014} Memorials are temporary and easily torn down.

In many years, Maggie will not remember the story behind all those pictures in her scrapbook. If it even survives until she's an adult or lets even say until her grandchildren come along as well as the stories attached to them that I'll share with her. Memories of a joyous time of the past will make no impact the future unless action in life is taken to preserve the action behind the memory.

After Israel crossed the river on dry land, Joshua had 12 men build a memorial in honor of that event that became a turning point in their history. 12 Giant stones were there to remember what God had done for them. The significance of that was lost in just a few short generations.

The Church is one generation away from death. We need to focus on what we're called to; God's indestructible Church- the People.

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