Category Archives: Chicagoland
Today we had a great worship experience as part of Ashes to Fire. After the sermon, where we received a new church member by profession of faith, we moved through three prayer stations reflecting on needed change in our lives.
First, we sat by candlelight and considered areas of temptation we’re facing right now. Most people wrote down areas of testing. Then we moved into the darkness. No lights. We sat and reflected on negative ways we cope with testing. These don’t lead us toward God. They don’t really help at all. In order to grow we must make the choice to leave these behind.
When people were ready, they moved into the light, kneeling at the altar and praying Psalm 25 to the Lord. It was powerful to see people taking tangible steps toward God. There was a strong godly presence in the light.
Then a bunch of us went ice skating! Church life can be like that. We just gave the ashes of past sinful patterns to God. Now we were floating on ice to rhythm of happier music.
Ashes to ice. It’s not a bad place to begin the journey. Can’t wait for the FIRE!!!
What a great and fun season it’s been for Lake Central’s Conference Co-Champs football program. Congrats to Spearman and Go LC in the playoffs!
“And can it be, that I should gain an interest in the savior’s blood. Died he for me, who caused his pain? For me, who him to death pursued?
Amazing love. How can it be? That Thou my God shouldst die for me?”
Good Friday Service 7pm
NewHope Community Church of the Nazarene
I hope Wisconsin and Indiana are watching. The above link to a Times article showcases what can happen when all parties come to the table and have students in mind. Everyone gave and the kids gained. Better to actively negotiate with teachers than try to silence them. After all we trust our kids to them every day, so maybe we should listen to their ideas before charging ahead. Hopefully all teachers will now be motivated to serve well (as most of them do).
I also like the final quote reminding parents they have the largest single role in educating their kids. Churches can help to empower parents to pass on values of faith, respect, and discipline. This will transform the typical classroom far more than any legislation ever could. I’m offering up a prayer for parents, kids, teachers, and leaders.
“Lord, let Your Word be a lamp for our feet and a light to our path. Help students to believe in a better future. Help parents and teachers to believe in their students. Help teachers always remember it’s about the students. Help leaders and parents to respect the good work most teachers do sacrificially everyday. Help parents love their kids through discipline, respect, and spiritual training. Protect us all from principalities and powers that would destroy our future. Show us the way, the truth, and the life!”
This movie writes itself. Opening scene, actual footage from the last 5 seconds of 2010 National Championship Game, fading as the shot bounces off the rim…
TEN YEARS EARLIER appears on a black screen.
Young Brad Stevens is sitting in an office cubicle at Lilly. Picture of his girlfriend on his desk. He’s on the phone, but his mind keeps wandering back to big shots he made to secure victory for Zionsville High School. Then to the moment he received the Coaches award at DePauw.
His manager stops by to remind him how pleased they are to have him on the team. How he’s sure a bright young man like him will go far. Points to the hall where photos of Lilly leaders of the past and present line the wall. Someday you’ll be up there…
The phone rings.
“Better get that,” he says pointing again to the photo wall. “It might be your future calling!”
Picks up ringing receiver. “Brad Stevens, how can I help you?”
It’s a rather terse and disinterested woman in a very noisy office somewhere deep within the bowels of the Butler University Athletic Department.
“Is this Bradley Stevens?”
“Um, yes? Who’s calling?”
“I’m calling from Butler University. There’s an opening for a volunteer assistant position with the Bulldog basketball program. Coach wants to know if you’re interested in an interview.”
Face lights up like a Christmas tree. Drops the receiver. Starts shouting to the phone “Yes, Yes, Yes….” picks it up.
Glances at photo of girlfriend.
“…ah but I have to speak to someone else about this first… Can I call you back.”
“Yes, but let me know by tomorrow morning. Coach won’t want to delay…”
“Thank you. Thank you…um I’m sorry what did you say your name was?”
“I didn’t. But it’s Sally.”
“Sally. Sally, I think I love you!”
“Yeah, yeah. Just call me back by tomorrow…click”
On his lunch break, Brad calls the girlfriend.
“Are you crazy? You got an amazing break to get this job with a future! Our future! Remember, we talked about getting married?”
“I know, but you know it was my dream to coach. I just never thought…”
“I gotta go, click”
“Wait, no. Hello? Hello? Ugh!” end scene…
Brad is back at his cubicle prison trying to duct tape the cracked receiver when the phone rings loudly jarring Brad and us.
“Okay, here’s the plan:”
“Yes, Tracy, who else? Here’s the plan. I go back to Law school. Someone has to pay the bills for this fantasy camp! You live in Bob’s basement and get an hourly job. Are you sure you want to do this?”
“Tracy, I love you forever!”
Music comes up. Brad shouts and raises his arms.
Next scene: we see practice ending and Brad is heading back to his Coordinator of Basketball Operations cubicle. New coach Todd Lickliter (in a cameo playing himself) steps up and invites Brad into his office.
Next scene: Brad carrying a box into an office where a janitor is screwing in a new nameplate above Assistant Basketball Coach.
Next scene: last few seconds of 2nd Round 2008 NCAA Tournament loss. Speech to team afterwards with freshman Matt Howard listening intently…
And the rest is history!
Will the movie end tonight? Or is the story just getting started?
Here’s to great real life stories that fill us with hope!
Welcome to NewHope!.
Click the above link to check out NewHope Community Church of the Nazarene. Come grow with us as we share the good news of Jesus with our world! It’s almost Easter time so there are some fresh opportunities to get connected to the church experience.
Join us Friday night April 8th as we head to a local theater for Soul Surfer a truly inspiring movie event! The cost is $10 but the experience is priceless. (Sarah & I saw a special screening in January and her comment: “The Best movie EVER!”)
Palm Sunday April 17th is a special outreach service for people new to the church experience. 10:30am
Good Friday April 22nd-brief family service helping you experience just how much God loves you!
Easter Sunday April 24th- Experience the life-changing power of Easter with your family! It’s the most joy-filled service of the year celebrating the event that changed the world forever. Let it change your world this year!
These are just a few of the ways you can discover new hope! Your journey begins at www.discovernewhope.org
Nice article about a wonderful family tradition! Yes, I’m one of those deeply committed Cubs fans! Got the bug at age 9 watching Ivan DeJesus, Manny Trillo, Bruce Sutter, and Rick Reuschel! Baseball cards, breaking in a new glove, and discovering I could pick up the games on 720AM WGN radio all the way in Iowa City made that summer perfect!
Once a Cubs fan, always a Cubs fan. It’s kind of like being a Christian. It requires faith. It requires devotion. Suffering is involved. But hope always Springs eternal!
It’s Opening Day and anything is possible! Amen!
Just a quick note with my Final Four Picks. With my beloved Hawkeyes out of the picture, I’ll be following Notre Dame, who’ve had quite a season.
East Region: North Carolina (UNC)
West Region: Duke
Southwest Region: Notre Dame
Southeast Region: Florida
North Carolina is my overall pick.
BYU will have something to play for. MSU can never be counted out. Michigan may go farther than most think. As always it will be a fun ride!
Click above link to read an interesting story…
You can’t make this up! From the “What was he thinking?” file. There almost has to be more to this story, right? The kind of kid who goes to choir practice, steals the keys? Then he drives the church van from his own close-by church to his own close-by school? How did he think no one would figure it out? Where did he learn to drive? What made him think to install “the club”? Almost everything points to some adult coaching him at some point.
1. I hope he learns a lesson and avoids a life of crime. Could he really be this lazy? (Or was this some kind of initiation act for a gang?)
2. The kid may have leadership potential. What he did was wrong, no doubt, on so many levels. But maybe he’s just bored. The problems in our urban areas run so deep. This may be a serious crossroads for this boy who wants to be a man.
When I think of Gary my heart breaks. Our church has gone in a few times to try to make a difference. But it’s easy to feel like it’s just too complicated. Real families struggling to raise their kids in a dangerous environment with too many bad options and not enough resources. This story would be funnier if it didn’t have such a sad backdrop.
This is the only headline that took my attention away from the Japan tragedy today.