Wanted to share a little about our time in St. Louis at Dan Rice’s funeral…
A treasured disciple crossed his finish line today and I lost a dear friend for now. Dan Rice died unexpectedly this morning though he seemed to be in great health. He and his wife, Heide, and Carol and I became fast friends when we were all single interns for the Denver Church twenty years ago in 1988. We’ve been close ever since. We later served together in the Los Angeles Church. Dan and Heide lead the Las Vegas church and have spent the last several years serving in the full-time ministry in the Church in St. Louis.
I rejoice that he has been so faithful in his love relationship with God. I mourn deeply for Heide and their two children, Alex and Taylor. Our kids are the same ages. I can’t imagine. Dan had just finished running two back-to-back teen camps and was leaving today to build homes for the poor in Mexico with Casas de Christo.
So many lives have been touched by Dan; mine is one of them. Dan and Heide served as guest speakers for the Seattle Church Singles retreat in Port Ludlow several years back and inspired our Singles Ministry greatly. He has always been an insightful teacher and preacher. He’s also been a famously mischievous teaser and talker. He loved to push the boundaries of appropriateness and indulge in hilarious self-depreciating humor. We are kindred spirits in those and many other ways.
I will miss Dan until we are together again in a place where there are no more tears.
By Jay Kelly
Believe me when I tell you you’ve never seen a baptism quite like this one. It was so encouraging to see these three fly through the air on their way to the waters of salvation. The hot tub was just to warm up after the inspiring Lake Washington baptism.
The past weekend was a time for depth. Saturday night, Ron and Linda hosted our first annual Father-Daughter dance at the Queen Anne building. Fun, beautiful, kinetic (I guess this applies to both the dance and to my daughter Ariel!) and of course, “deep,” (the Brumleys had armed each table with a series of cards with questions for the Dads like, “when’s the last time you cried?”) the evening was just enchanted enough to be believed.
Sunday morning church services featured a thank you to all the Dads out there–you, know, we appreciate it even more than we think! The UW ministry ran the whole church service–graduation Sunday–and it was a brief reminder of how much we love and need the next generation of zealous disciples.
Some close friends of ours lost a Dad on Father’s Day–we are grieving with them.
On Monday, the staff sat at the feet of Steve Staten, an elder, evangelist, and teacher from the Chicago church. Steve taught on the subject, “Who is my brother?” helping us navigate the confusion endemic to denominational Christianity as we seek to share our faith with patients that need the healing rather than with doctors who don’t. Stay tuned.
The question can be confusing: who is my brother exactly? A better question, that keeps the first one in humble perspective, is, “Who is my Father?” The closer we are to Him, the better we know Him, the longer we walk with Him, the clearer it all gets…
I have been waiting months for this day: June 8, 2008. It marks the last meeting for those interested in the Bellingham House Church planting to make a commitment. Landon and I have been dreaming about moving to Bellingham for a while now and it was refreshing to see those who are eager to share in this dream.
Our numbers were small but we are not ones who shrink back. Eight people have confirmed their pledges to be apart of the house church and it will be enough. The family that will be relocating up to Bellingham is one of love, laughter and sacrifice. As long as we have a bible talk, we have faith the Bellingham House Church will be a success and designed exactly the way God intended.
Our official send off will be August 10, 2008 at the Northwest Christian Conference. We will then start relocating to Bellingham and our first service will be September 14, 2008. In the meantime, we will be meeting for midweek at the Queen Anne Building. This time will be used to build relationships with one another and to receive training from the ministry staff.
We are so excited to see all the amazing miracles God will do in Bellingham. We are still asking for your prayers. And since Bellingham is such a beautiful city, you should come visit us!
The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have an save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” Judges 6:14
“The Quest stands upon the edge of a knife. Stray but a little, and it will fail, to the ruin of all. Yet hope remains while the Company is true.”
– Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
I turned 24 this last Wednesday. I was completely encouraged by the love showered on me by so many disciples. The fellowship felt so true. It felt so refreshing, so life giving. It also felt so… out of character. I had to break off the stiffening rust of bad habits, open back up and resurrect lost practices. I have to admit, I’ve been a little stale in the fellowship these days, too guarded really. How has your fellowship been, how’s your surrounding company doing? Beyond church. How is it on a daily basis? That’s what’s been missing for me and probably why this week felt like a drink of cold water. It brought me back to days where my fellowship plate was full.
- I worked Monday, kind of a personal organization day.
- Got sick Tuesday. Dave White bought me chicken noodle soup and a huge Gatorade. I was knocked out for most of the day, but really appreciated the gifts. I also chatted with Emanuel Eguia for a good half hour. He spent all weekend much sicker than I was. We chatted about life’s challenges and things we’d been learning from our quiet times. I’m grateful that these talks have been common for us this past year. Eman has become a best friend in a year’s time.
- Wednesday was the the tops (or so I thought). My girlfriend dropped off cookies, candy and a handmade banner outside my house at some early morning hour… I was still asleep, so the surprise remained in tact. Throughout the day I got so many encouraging phone calls and Facebook messages wishing me a Happy Birthday. The best came from Aaron Helmers giving me a heart-stirring rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ via voicemail. What a voice!
- After work, got a quick coffee time w/ Todd Schoeplin before men’s midweek. Todd is a hero in the faith to me. I deeply admire his love for God and his spiritual mindset towards life. We discussed our fellowship woes and confessed that neither of us felt that sharp in the fellowship lately (hmmm, might this be a theme?).
- Men’s midweek – inspiring. Thanks Jay. Really looking forward to a summer of ‘Passionate Spirituality’ and this time with the bros.
- Afterwards Brandon Renfrow and I celebrated the day w/ Beer and Pizza (yes, that event deserves capitalization. Brandon always appreciates a good public ‘shout-out.’ There ya go bro). Sometimes the simplest times are the best. Do you have people you can simply be with? End of day, went to bed.
And then there was Thursday (the actual top)…
- Miyoko (my girlfriend, who I could write a whole blog about… but you wouldn’t want to read) planned a birthday dinner for me at Anthony’s on Pier 66 with a group of some of my closest friends. The table was filled with laughter and many memories. What a gift, to be “surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses.” God was not to be left out, and gave us a sunset over Elliot Bay complete with a glowing rainbow touching down on Qwest Field. After a crippling dinner we made our way to the pier for some pictures in the gale force winds of June 5th(seriously… June 5th?). This night will stick with me for a long time.
From left to right: Emanuel Eguia, myself, Miyoko Kim, Marcus and Naomi Wallace, Matt Rollins and Jen Harvey.
This was a special week. For me the family was all it’s meant to be. What about next week though. Does it have to be any different? Why? Shouldn’t the fellowship always be this fulfilling? I know I’d sure like it to be! I also know it’s time to get rid of weak (or week) fellowship and get back to the true, life giving fellowship Jesus intended for us. May we all seek to give and to have this kind of company in our own lives!
TOPIC: FOLLOW THE LEADER
To teach everyone in the family the important principle of discipleship and to remind parents that your children are watching and imitating you, for the good, or otherwise.
Do it. Have fun. Get a tape of songs if you need help.
Have a family prayer. Praise God for His greatness and thank Him together for all his blessings on your family.
Teach/discuss and memorize Mark 1:17
Talk about how Jesus wants everyone to follow him by doing the same things He did when He was on the earth.
Play the game, “Follow the Leader”, as a fun way to help illustrate what it means to be a disciple, focusing on and imitating a leader. The head of the household should be the leader. He/she should think of both serious and crazy things to do as he leads the family around the house.
Some suggestions: (the point is, that everyone follows your lead and repeats what you do)
- walk around in a line, stop and read the Bible
- walk around and stop and give someone a hug
- walk around and stop and say, “I love you” to someone in line
- walk around and stop and then thank mom for dinner just enjoyed
- walk around, stop, stand on your head (there’s no biblical evidence Jesus ever did this)
- walk around, stop, lead a short prayer that can be followed in short phrases by the kids
- walk around, stop, role play sharing your faith
- walk around, stop, simulate helping someone do something ….. have others guess what the role player is doing
Don’t be limited by these suggestions. Expand on them. Add your own ideas and thoughts to make the devo a fun time for everyone. Discuss some key elements of being a disciple….of Jesus.
ALWAYS END WITH A PRAYER AND DELICIOUS YUMMIES!!!!!!!!!!!
I am pleased to announce that at yesterday’s worship service, our church (The South Sound Church of Christ) collected two thousand dollars ($2,000) to help assist Patrice Abijibly (member of the Seattle Church of Christ) and his family fund a benevolent trip they will be making this summer to the Ivory Coast in West Africa. The Abijibly’s will be working with HOPE worldwide to provide food, clothing, and other monetary needs for those who are less fortunate in the country.
As a part of the service, Patrice shared and showed a video that explained the extreme level of poverty in homeland. In this heart-moving film, we saw the poor in a way that many of us had not them seen them before. We saw families who lived in one room shacks and even heard the stories of several children who could not even attend local schools because they had no money. In addition, we also listened to other children and adults discuss the challenges they faced each day because they or families members of theirs were infected with the HIV virus.
After the film ended, Patrice both encouraged and challenged us that as Americans and as disciples, we need to reach out and sacrifice for others because we can. Thankfully our church gave more than any of us could have expected. This was probably the most encouraging part of the two thousand dollars ($2,000) that we collected. On a normal HOPE benevolent Sunday, we usually average somewhere between four and seven hundred dollars ($400-$700). The two thousand dollars ($2,000) we gave was truly an “offering” not just to Patrice and HOPE, but “one to the Lord.”
In response to such giving, I am reminded of the amazing churches that we all a part of (South Sound Church of Christ & the Seattle Church of Christ). I want to share this story so that we focus more on the positive things going on around us instead of the negative. Too many times we talk about what needs to change (more studies, better discipling, stronger families, etc.) instead of remembering the blessings that God is doing all around us. There will always be things that we need to change in church but let’s not forget to smile at the great things that happen when our hearts our moved to sacrifice for him. The truth is, despite our all of our sin (from the past and present and future), we are in “a great and giving church” because we have “a great and giving God.” Let’s remember this as we live our lives as Disciples of Christ.
South Sound Church of Christ Intern
June 2nd, 2008