Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Thank You!

To those involved in the music department of First Assembly of God of Greater Lansing, thank you for your outstanding service. Most recently, 15 new souls have begun their journey with God as a result of your efforts. Thank God! Our official Music Department continues to rise to the occasion, and we are adding to it's number with the addition of Ladye Hahn as the official Music Department representative in charge of Hospitality. Welcome to the team Ladye. I'd also like to thank those who are involved in the weekly worship teams. Each week you give up an evening to practice in addition to your ministry on the Sunday you are scheduled... some of you every week. Where would we be without you? 2006 will be here before we know it, and with it come new worship songs, musicals, and challenges. But before all that happens. Take time to relax and enjoy what God has blessed you with. Love and serve Him faithfully. I look forward to working together in the coming year. May God bless you and your family. Have a very Merry Christmas!
- PT

Friday, November 18, 2005

Giving My Best

Mark Condon wrote a song a number of years ago titled "Giving My Best". A line in the chorus of that song reads, "giving my best to You Lord, all that I have I won't withhold". Certainly God didn't withhold his best from me, neither should I withhold my best from Him. Kenneth W. Osbeck writes in the Pocket Guide for the Church Choir Member, "At all times, whether in practice or performance, one must keep in mind this basic principle: if a ministry for the Lord is worthy of our service, it is also worthy of our very best effort and effective use of our God-given talent. To that end may our lives be dedicated and ministries blessed, that He alone might receive the honor and glory. "...whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God". - 1Corinthians 10:31
- PT

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Surprise!

Today marks my 25th wedding anniversary. A simple statement... but a milestone in today's culture. My, how time flys! Recently one evening, we left our house under the impression we were having dinner at an undisclosed restaurant with my wife's parents. They drove, so when we finally reached the destination (a clubhouse) it became obvious a surprise party was about to take place. Stick with me as I recall these special details. My wife was escorted in by a close family friend as I followed. Stepping into the decorated room Nate King Cole's Unforgettable was playing in the background as we noticed the faces of loved ones at each table . Before we could survey the entire room our children and son-in-law (who live out of state) greeted us. Shocked to see our kids, a bouquet of flowers was placed in my wife's hand as we were made aware of an aisle runner. Our eyes followed the white runner as we were even more surprised to see our Pastor standing at the other end with a smile on his face and black book in hand. In a very meaningful ceremony we renewed our vows, which included communion and a special song sung by our daughters. Following the ceremony we enjoyed an outstanding meal prepared by Teen Challenge. We then cut a large layered wedding cake made by a dear friend and enjoyed dessert. As we mingled and talked of tales from the past I couldn't help thinking how the night was perfect and yet a complete surprise. One day, the word of God says, we're all in for a surprise. When "the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT. What a surprise it will be when we finally make it to that banqueting table in God's presence. Think about this. If my children can surprise me and make such a memorable impression, imagine what God can do. His plans of goodness extend far beyond our feeble comprehension . "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT. I don't believe His fantastic plans are only for the future. So be encouraged. Hang in there. Pursue the exploits God has planted in your heart. Enjoy the special details God has planned for you. And we'll all talk about it soon enough.
-PT

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Living Above and Beyond

Above and beyond all the realm of time and space, Above earthly limits, beyond this world's embrace, A life may be found which with power will abound, If you believe, you can receive power to live above and beyond.
-Jack Hayford

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Endurance

Let your endurance be a finished product, so that you may be finished and complete, with never a defect. James 1:4 (Moffatt)

Friday, November 04, 2005

Worship

To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth
of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.
-William Temple

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Meditation

True contemplation is not a psychological trick but a theological grace.
-Thomas Merton