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Archive for the ‘Jesus’ Category

In Mealtime tonight (our 5th -10th grade at-risk apartment kids Bible Study- how’s that for a great age range?) one of the points we talked about was allowing the Word of God to be planted into fertile soil in the center of our lives. I think the kids got “it”, somewhat- and I am really, really proud of what we’re doing to extend the kingdom of God and the love of God in their lives. We’ll see the harvest, someday. But in the meantime, it’s kind of a two steps forward, one step back venture in bringing these kids up for the Lord- especially since there is zero support for the Truth in their homes.

Seeing how hard we work with this group to just plant the tiniest seeds of the Gospel and understanding in their hearts and minds made me think of the nearly opposite example I just read about a couple of weeks ago. My sister, Sheila gave me a book entitled “Epicenter” written by Joel Rosenberg. It was a fascinating book tagged with these words, “Why the current rumblings in the Middle East will change your future.” The author places the words of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 alongside current events in the Middle East. The events and possible scenarios match up so closely, one can’t help but see that Mr. Rosenberg is really onto something.

However, what I thought of during Mealtime tonight has to do with the seemingly miraculous way many Iranians are coming to Jesus. Yes, I said Iranians- Muslims who must sacrifice nearly everything- even family to claim the name of Jesus, are turning to him like never before in history. Here is a sampling of what the author relates (paraphrased by me) in “Epicenter:”

An Iranian pastor relates that in the summer of 1975, his ministry shared the Gospel with nearly 5000 people. Only two people showed any interest at all. In 2005, 98 out of every 100 people they shared Christ with showed interest and many decisions were made for Christ. Typical means of evangelism such as showings of the JESUS film or radio and satellite TV ministries are important resources as they allow unbelievers initial exposure to the gospel while strengthening the faith of believers. However, what is bringing the vast majority of Iranians to Christ is not these typical means, but dreams and visions of Jesus Christ himself.

An Iranian pastor shared that a professional man showed up at their church one week who did not need the Gospel shared with him. They did not have to persuade him of anything, which was good, because church members in Iran are generally terrified of sharing their faith because of the consequences they know they must face in society and with their families. This particular man already believed because he said that Jesus had personally been teaching him for two hours a day during the entire previous year. Now he finally had the courage to identify himself with other believers and wanted to worship Christ with others.

I can’t exactly express what I’m thinking- but I do know that if Jesus has to appear to teach someone about himself- or if he has to send a group of willing “seed-sowers” like the leaders of our little Square Peg Ministries- he is going to make sure that not a single person who chooses, will be lost from his kingdom.

So, I feel kind of connected to those believers in Iran and am happy to be working in a different corner of the same Kingdom field.

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I wanted to just post a couple of more pictures from our “Happy Birthday, Jesus” party that were recently e-mailed to me. These were the ones I really wanted!

Cutest “Wise man” I’ve ever seen!
Now that’s an angel!
The Shepherds
Is that not the most angelic angel you’ve ever seen?
And our special guest: Vicki!
Her puppeteer, Amanda, had us all in stitches as Vicki helped us learn a Scripture verse.

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Back to that same box

Before the flurry of last month’s Puppet Festival, M&M Puppeteers’ Reunion dinner and performance, Compassion In Action Day and more, you might remember that we were tackling some old boxes of junk at home from which I pulled a folder called “Cindy’s Thoughts and Ideas.”

Well, since finding that folder, I have decided to put the “Northside Hospital Plan of Action” into effect for my papers. When Darrell was having all his “big tests” done last year, it was interesting to note that the hospital has virtually gone paperless. While patients still have to fill out everything under the sun when they arrive for tests; at the end of the day, all the paperwork that has been generated is scanned and then shredded. What a great idea!

So, to that end, I am doing the same thing. For example, today I had to send off our 2008 agreement with Camp Gideon to secure the dates for next summer’s Camp Rocks. I scanned the documents, filed them in my computer under Camp Rocks 2008…and then THREW MY COPIES AWAY! Freedom!

Well, back to the box. I found an interesting note I had tucked away in that “Cindy” folder many years ago. Today, I scanned it, stored it in my computer and threw away that paper, too. Progress! However, what I saved many years ago is good enough to share today, too:

There lives at this time in Judea a man of singular virtue, whose name is Jesus Christ, whom the barbarians esteem

as a prophet, but His followers love and adore Him as the off-spring of the immortal God. He calls back the dead

from the graves and heals all sorts of diseases with a word or touch. He is a tall man, well shaped and of an amiable and

reverend aspect; His hair of a color that can hardly be matched, falling· into graceful curls, waving about and very agreeably

couching His head, running as a stream to the front after the fashion of the Nazarites; His forehead high, large and imposing;

His cheeks without spot or wrinkle, beautiful with a lovely red; His nose and mouth formed with exquisite symmetry; His beard,

and of a color suitable to His hair, reaching below His chin and parted in the middle like a fork, His eyes bright blue, clear

and serene, look innocent, dignified, manly and mature. In proportion of body most perfect and captivating; His arms

and hands delectable to behold. He rebukes with majesty, counsels with mildness, His whole address, whether in word or deed,

being -eloquent and grave. No man has seen Him laugh, yet His manners are exceedingly pleasant, but He has wept frequently

in the presence of men. He is temperate, modest and wise. A man for His extraordinary beauty and divine perfection,

surpassing the children of men in every sense.”

believed to have been written by Publius Lentulus, President of Judea in the reign of Tiberius Caesar

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Here’s what I’m working on right now:

Concepts 21 Kids Club (see Square Peg Ministries tab above)- this is the last week of Superbook Olympics. We’ve been studying the book of Mark. We’re only going to finish through Chapter 5. However, we did learn a lot of Bible stories and where to find them. Most importantly, we learned how kids can tap into the same Jesus of the Bible stories to help in their own everyday lives. Tomorrow, we’re going to end this season with ice cream sundaes. Yum!

Royal Family Kids Camp– the three of us who are starting the Cherokee County camp next summer are e-mailing back and forth with follow-up details from our meeting last week. We’re working towards an Open House/Informational Reception next month for folks we hope will be interested in joining this ministry next year.

M&M Puppeteers’ 20th Anniversary Reunion/Performance: It’s hard to believe we’ve been in ministry for 20 years- but we’ve got the videos and the hairstyles to prove it! We’re planning to do an anniversary performance at the Atlanta Puppet Festival next month. Sooo, we’ve been meeting and planning for two weeks already. Working practices begin next Tuesday. Seven more weeks to go!! We’ve identified approximately 75+ people who have served on the puppet team through the years!

N. GA Church of God Children’s Leaders’ Committee: Since I fulfilled my 12 years of service on the national team, the local group asked me to join them to help put on the annual North Georgia conference. I am helping find and contact exhibitors for the conference. We’re beginning to get some response. However, the event is only 5 weeks away- so we’re hoping and praying for the best.

Atlanta Puppet Festival: I mentioned the M&M Puppeteers performance- but on top of that, there’s an entire festival to put together! We’re expecting 700 people. This year we’re hosting it at Crabapple First Baptist Church. The festival is an exciting ministry training event- but it’s a lot of work. However, the benefits of rubbing shoulders with like-minded people and the resources we receive make it worth the effort.

Square Peg Ministries: putting together an effective board to help govern the direction of the ministry. ‘Nuf said on that one. Getting out our newsletter with details about fall: school-year Kids Club format begins, middle school Bible Study and activities, we’re starting a new Hispanic puppet team, Homework Help/Tutoring begins after Labor Day, Open House/Sign Ups for our ministry programs. Getting our Compassion In Action project together. It’s a bunch of stuff to think about and do!

Summerfest/Mobile, AL: I’ll be teaching at this one day ministry training event. However, I’m driving to it- so it becomes at least a two day event. And I’ve got to prepare my workshops pretty soon. It’s next week!

Camp Rocks (see tab above): I know it’s done, but I’ve still got thank yous to get out. No small task!

Trying to keep up a blog: mixed results! Yikes!!!

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I have missed the last three weeks of Kids Club! You know all those BGPs! And really, I think the week before that, we had a sandwich-making/selling fundraiser instead of our regular ministry- so it’s been a while.

I really love working with our kids. They are a joy- and even though I got sweatier today than I did at Camp Rocks, it seemed- I was so happy to be with them; having fun and teaching God’s Word. 

Danelli

Danelli: playing the M&Ms game!

Henry

Henry: he was little slow on the old M&Ms game. Of course, he had just experienced the trauma described below!!

We acted out our Bible story today; it was the friends of the paralytic lowering their buddy to Jesus in an overly crowded house so he could be healed story. For some unknown reason, I chose the four smallest boys to be the “friends”- and a little bitty guy, Henry, who really does not speak English, and therefore couldn’t understand the instructions, to be the paralyzed guy. They all did great; getting the little kid onto a tarp (with the help of two of our leaders), carrying him around our tent to get him front of “Jesus,” played by a girl, no less! Henry did fine until the friends laid him on the ground- and suddenly he started to cry. Well, I don’t think he got much out of that Bible story!! I know he was probably wondering what we were going to do to him next!!

Anyway, in the Bible account of this story, one of the points I mentioned to the kids today was that Jesus saw the faith of the friends- not so much the condition of the sick man, nor the fact they had just torn a hole in his roof nor that everyone was pressing in on Jesus so tightly there was no other way to get to him. He saw their for-all-I-trust-Him faith that he could and would do something for their friend.

So, while I was trying to get Henry out of his predicament, finish telling the story and just  enjoy being in the backyard of our ministry apartment- I just breathed/thought/responded to the Lord that I want Him to see faith in me when I approach Him.

What about you?

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Highlights from the Last Show!!

Did you get to watch the show? If not, this highlights video will give you a little peek into all the excitement. Especially watch the first two minutes or so to see the crowd’s over-the-top excitement!! It was a great episode all the way around:

I especially liked:

     ~the big guy from Canada falling straight down on the floor when he got into the   aisle- but he didn’t miss a beat; he was thrilled when his name was called to “Come on down!”

     ~the guy with the “Bob is #1” shirt- who had waited on the sidewalk for FIVE days to get into the show; and onstage! He made it to the final showcase but didn’t win.

     ~the girl who did win the final showcase- you could tell she’s watched The PiR a couple of times- she knew her prices, knew how to play those games and she was even mouthing Bob’s words- she knew it all!

     ~And of course, Bob’s famous last words of each show in honor of his late wife’s passion: “Help control the animal population, spay and neuter your pets!”

My dh and I got to be in the studio audience once. It was really fun. It was back during the time that Johnny Olsen was the announcer and we sat directly next to his announcer stand and got to observe what he was doing all during the show. Neither of us got called onstage. I did see us a bit in the audience when we saw the show on TV a few weeks later, though. We realized then that the last contestant called up to contestant’s row had been several people ahead of us in line outside the studio when they choose that day’s contestants. In other words, they had already chosen their last contestant before they even got to us. Otherwise, I’m SURE I would have been called up onstage!!

Anyway, I am so glad I TiVo’d the last episode. I loved it. I always have a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes when I see a celebration or event that marks passage of time like a graduation or the end of an era like Bob’s momentous last show of a 35 year career.

But you know what got me the most caught up in that last show? The audience’s enthusiasm for and focused attention on Bob Barker. And rightfully so; Bob is a big deal- especially on this last momentous episode. You know the audiences are always excited, anyway. When that music starts and those cameras pan the audience, you can feel the excitement in the retired grandmothers with the “I Want to Kiss Bob” sweatshirts or the college students with the “I Skipped Class to Meet Bob” emblazoned on their shirts; or the women who have to kiss and hug Bob and won’t let go; or like the lady I saw once who was nearly swooning when she got onstage. She fell to her knees and began bowing up and down to indicate her adoration of Bob Barker. It’s all a lot of fun- and I can tell you if I had been in that studio audience- especially on this last episode after waiting 3 to 5 days on the sidewalk- I would have been hysterically crazy myself. I mean, it’s history, it’s Bob Barker- it’s money!!!

 But the lump in my throat and the tears in my eyes went beyond Bob and the show. I began to think about that focused attention the audience had on the object of their adoration: Bob. And I began to feel that there was a parallel here.

You know the desired object of my adoration is not a person I can see onstage like Bob, or even my husband or my kids or my too-cute-for-words granddaughters. The “object” of my adoration, on whom I have focused the attention of my life, is the one whose name I want to make famous and enthusiastically jump and down for: Jesus Christ! I can’t imagine the scene in heaven when HE walks out from behind that curtain that has separated me from Him all these years. When I see Him and can finally fully express myself to Him and run into His arms and bow at His feet and kiss His cheeks….and then to realize that this life with Jesus in heaven doesn’t end like Bob’s run on daytime TV- and that all this waiting on the sidewalk of life and entering into the studio of heaven and finding the prize of the mansion he’s been getting ready for me…that’s kind of what my heart was feeling as I saw the enthusiasm of The PiR crowd. I guess it kind of made my heart homesick for heaven and more anxious than ever to hear words something like: Cindy Hunnicutt- come on up!!

In the meantime though: Congratulations on 35 wonderful years, Bob Barker! I’ve always loved watching your show.

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