Tuesday, May 28, 2013

WATCH the WATER get turned into WINE!

Some of the greatest weddings in all of history are recorded in the Bible.  Over the last two week’s we have looked at the ROYAL wedding of Queen Esther and the REDEEMING wedding of Ruth and Boaz.  This week we move on to the REVEALING wedding as we see the WATER turned into WINE!  Jesus did it at the wedding of Cana many years ago and I am going to attempt to replicate this miracle this Sunday at Gaylord E-Free (which could really make communion interesting) as we continue our “History’s Greatest Weddings” message series.  Here are some questions for you to think about regarding this text from John 2:1-12:

How many miracles are in the Gospel of John?  
What are the miracles recorded in the Gospel of John
Why did Jesus do miracles?
What is significant about Jesus’ miracle in turning the water into wine?
When did Jesus do this miracle?
What town was Jesus in?  
Where is this town located?  
How many people lived there?
What event was Jesus attending?  
Why is this type of event significant to the story historically?
What did Jesus emphasize by the location of His first miracle?
Who was Jesus with at this event?  
Who was missing at this event?  Why?
What was the problem at the event?  Why was this a problem?
Who brought this problem to Jesus’ attention?  
Why did this person make Jesus aware of this problem?
What questions did Jesus respond with?  What does this mean?
What instruction is given to the servants?
Why did they fill the jars “to the brim” with water?
How much wine did Jesus make?
What was special about this wine?
Who were the only ones who knew that Jesus performed this miracle?
What was the response to this miracle by the disciples of Jesus that were present?
What does this miracle mean to you and I today?

We will answer these questions and more this Sunday.  Along with the worship, there will also be a visual reading of the Scripture that will help you to visualize what this event may have looked like if you had been there.  We will also be celebrating communion as part of our worship this Sunday.  Please be praying for God to use our services to meet as many people as possible right where they are at and help move them to where He wants them to be!

Hope to see you this Sunday at Gaylord E-Free!

Saturday, May 25, 2013


With still trying to get our youngest through college and with a very busy ministry schedule taking place including a funeral last week and another one coming up this week, we really didn't have the time or the money to take a trip - but we did it anyway...at least for 30 hours.  It wasn't a long trip and it wasn't an expensive trip, but it was an important trip.  Why?  Because it was 30 hours of investing into my marriage.

Last Thursday was our 26th wedding anniversary so we decided Thursday night to spontaneously take a 30-hour excursion.  We set our direction as the coast of Lake Michigan and found a reasonably priced hotel on-line.  We then got up Friday morning and were on the road by 9am heading to Traverse City to make a return at the mall.  We then headed due west to the little town of Empire right on Lake Michigan.  From there we headed south stopping at each little town like Frankfort and Manistee to walk through the quaint little shops while hitting yard sales all along the way.

Our evening took us to Ludington where we checked into our modest hotel and then had our anniversary dinner at a great restaurant on the water called PM Steamers (she had the trout and I had the Prime Rib).  From there we walked out on the Lake Michigan Pier and then found a coffee house to each grab a decaf before heading over to the waterfront park where we looked at all the bronze art sculptures and then watched the over 400' BADGER car ferry come into port after its 4-hour trip across Lake Michigan from Wisconsin.  It was pretty impressive.

The next morning we headed back into town to hit a large antique store where Laura found an exciting treasure and then we headed 20 more minutes south down to Pentwater.  We spent the rest of the day walking through this wonderful town filled with great specialty shops and another 3-story antique store. Of all the towns we visited on our 30-hour excursion we enjoyed this one the most.  

After several hours of enjoying Pentwater, we grabbed a hot dog at a local cafe and then started our journey back north stopping along the way to buy some fresh asparagus and a beautiful hanging plant for the back deck.  We arrived back in Gaylord in time to grab dinner at a pig roast fund-raiser that we were invited to at the fairgrounds and then got home around 6pm - 30 hours after our journey started.  

From the vantage point of the clock, it was just 30-hours of time from start to finish.  But from the vantage point of our marriage, it was more than just 30-hours of time.  It was much more than that.  This was a 30-hour investment into the most valuable relationship that I have on this earth (outside of my relationship with the Lord).  

I really wish that every husband would understand what a difference that 30-hours can make - especially to their wife!   

Sunday, May 12, 2013



Barbie Dolls Scarred Me For Life

This morning in church I used a Barbie and Ken Doll to help me kick-off our new series on "History's Greatest Weddings."  During the first service I told a story about how I was scarred for life due to a Barbie Doll incident in my past but for some reason I failed to tell the story during the second service.  So for those of you who were second service this morning - here it is:

Like most little girls, my daughter had dozens (it seemed like hundreds) of Barbie Dolls.  She often played with them while taking a bath.  One day she took all of her Barbie Dolls into the tub with her and then put all of them, still wet, in a big tub.  A few days later my wife found the dolls which had all mildewed.  Like a good mom, she washed all the dolls with bleach to try to salvage our daughter's toys.

That night I drove home from the church where I served as a youth pastor and got the shock of my life.  I could not pull in to our driveway.  This is no exaggeration!  The entire driveway was covered with dozens (it seemed like hundreds) of naked Barbie Dolls laying on the back soaking in the rays as they dried out from their recent washing.  It scarred me for life!  And I'm sure our house was the talk at the dinner table of all of our neighbor's houses that evening.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


I watched the movie "42" about Jackie Robinson tonight and it brought out all of my inner passion and love for the game of baseball.  In my opinion, there is not greater game in all the world than baseball.  I love to watch baseball.  I love to listen to baseball. I love to follow baseball.  I love to talk about baseball.  And I especially love going to a baseball game.  In fact, if I know I am going to a Major League Baseball game the next day, I get so excited that I have trouble sleeping the night before.  My bucket list is very short - I want to retire (at around the age of 50) and watch a game in every Major League Baseball stadium all in one season!

As I watched the "42" movie I couldn't help but think of how incredible it would be to have a job at a stadium where I would get paid to go to a baseball game every day.  I often dream of being a play-by-play announcer for a Major League Team!  What a job that would be!!!  In fact, to this day when I am home all by myself and there is a baseball game on TV, I mute the sound and pretend that I am announcing the game! What a dream job that would be to be a baseball announcer.  I kept thinking that all through the entire movie tonight.

But as I was driving home from the movie and processing what I had seen on the big screen, I realized something.  I realized that if I were suddenly given the job of being a play-by-play announcer for a Major League Baseball Team, I would not be moving into my dream job, I actually would be moving out of my dream job.  You see, I already have my dream job.  I am a pastor.  It is all I have ever really wanted to be since I was a kid growing up in Akron, Ohio.  I may not get to go to baseball stadium every day and smell the hot dogs and hear the crack of the bat, but I get to do something better.  I get to step inside the church every day.  I get to be part of something that doesn't just entertain people.  I get to be part of something that can change someone's eternity.  Now that is my dream job!

Baseball...I love it!  And someday I do hope to visit every MLB stadium in person in one season.  But for now, I will continue to do my dream job at church day in and day out.  And when my day off comes and no one else is around, I'll still turn on the game and mute the sound while I call the play-by-play myself, even though no one else will be listening!