Be God’s Man in God’s Place

MeandtheArch 2

I’m at MBI right now for a children’s ministry conference being put on by the seniors in the Children’s Ministry Major program. A major not available when I was a student. They are doing an incredible job. It is such an honor to be here. As I walked around the campus yesterday posting pictures to Facebook of the campus changes, and what’s still the same – it brought back a lot of great memories. It was actually pretty significant that I was here on May 2nd. 24 years ago, on May 2nd, 1990 – I got to go out to take the President of Moody Bible Institute one on one. I had valet parked his car a few weeks earlier and left a note inside asking if I could treat him out to a meal. When he called my dorm room a few days later, my room mate answered, and shocked said, “It’s the Presdient!” I answered, “Bill Clinton?” And he said, “No, Joe Stowell!” We scheduled our meal, and I picked him up at the “Arch” in my little Chevy Chevete and took him to the Rock n’ Roll McDonald’s, where I was the ‘house magician’ – and where …

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A Presidential Visit to your Kids Ministry?!?!

Imagine if the President of the United States heard about your kids ministry and decided he needed to see if for himself? That’s exactly what happened to a Sunday School Director named Dwight Lyman Moody… and the President was none other than Abraham Lincoln! I have the honor of being the first children’s pastor on staff at the church he founded well over 100 years ago, The Moody Church. While he is known primarily as the Billy Graham of the previous generation, his ministry began as a children’s evangelist and he had a HUGE impact on the creation and growth of Sunday School. At a time when many churches were supported by ‘rented pews’ Moody rented pews for street kids. When he was told the children weren’t welcome in church (Big Church) he started a Sunday School for street kids that grew so big and well respected that Abraham Lincoln visited one Sunday to see it for himself! Imagine having the President of the United States drop in to see your kids ministry. Moody was passionate about kids but as his ministry grew, his focus shifted to adults. He said at the end of his life, “If I had my …

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Day 3 – Thankful for My Mom

This is part of a series called 24 Days of Thankfulness. These posts are in RANDOM order, NOT priority order. Each is something I am thankful for leading up to Thanksgiving. DAY #3: My Mom It’s hard to believe this Christmas Day will be 15 years since my mom went to meet Jesus. Yes. The day we celebrate “God With Us” – is the day my mom went to be with God. Peacefully, after my little brother gave her permission to go. Though ill with cancer, she had kept her humor and loving gift of encouragement. My favorite inheritance is the boxes of cards of and letters from all over the world of lives she touched. Those who have heard me speak, have heard her words through me, even when I wasn’t crediting her. She is a part of me. They have heard the story of my call to ministry – when I said at age ten, “I want to me a children’s evangelist when I grow up,” and she said, “What’s growing up got to do with anything? You start next week,” and the kidologist was born! I am thankful for a mother who saw past the boundless energy …

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24 Days of Thankfulness

Today I launched a little Thanksgiving Project over on Kidology.org called “24 Days of Thanks-Giving” – basically I am providing a simple Word doc you can download and every day from Nov. 1 until Thanksgiving add ONE thing you are thankful for. It’s really just something I need to DO MYSELF – but I thought maybe others might want to join me, and I’d enjoy reading/seeing what others are thankful for. So you are welcome to use the Word doc, or just post in the forum what YOU are thankful for! So let me begin today, with my first post. These are NOT going to be in priority order, otherwise I’d have to go God, Family, etc. and then later on, people might judge me for putting one thing “above” or “before” another – so right out of the gate let me say, these posts will be in RANDOM ORDER of things I am THANKFUL FOR! DAY 1 – Yosemite DAY 2 – God’s Word DAY 3 – My Mom DAY 4 – Photography DAY 5 – Pandora DAY 6 – George Lucas DAY 7 – Breckenridge DAY 8 – Barq’s DAY 9 – Mercy & Grace DAY 10 – …

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Seventeen Years Ago Today

Seventeen years ago today I said, “I do!” But that was seven years after seeing her picture during my junior year of high school in a missionary slide show and deciding to write her a letter! Soon we were pen pals and an overseas friendship began from Chicago to Manila long before the Internet would have made it much easier to write back and forth. Each letter took two weeks to be answered so we maintained at times up to ten separate conversations as letters crisscrossed the globe. Eventually, I developed a growing love for the, uh, Filipino people, (yeah, that’s it!) and asked her father if I could come to the Philippines and be, uh, mentored by him during the summer after I graduated high school. Perhaps suspecting my ulterior motive, he requested I get a year of Bible college first before I could come as part of his mission’s summer intern program.I figured that was better than working for him for seven years and being given her ugly sister in marriage, and since she didn’t have a sister, the year of Bible college requirement seemed safe. So off to Moody Bible Institute I went. (I was going anyway, …

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