Monday, December 29, 2008

What a Christmas!


Hello Everyone. Ever had one of those Christmases where it didn't seem or feel like Christmas until the last minute? That is how this Christmas was for us......well...for me.

1) First of all, before I describe our Christmas, I do have to say that the 1st Baptist Christmas Eve service was the highlight of Christmas for me this year. The celebration of our Lord Jesus Christ turned out wonderful. The sanctuary was filled to capacity with many many people from the community! I am so proud of those that participated in the program. Thanks to one and all that sang, played instruments, ran media and sound, lit candles, ushered, etc. I thank God for you and the wonderful job that you did! You were outstanding! I am sure that the Lord was pleased because I know that the message of Jesus Christ was clearly presented. Jesus is the reason for the season! I want to thank Pastor Shaun and Jodi for their hard work and help in the production. A big thank you also goes to Wendy Compton for allowing us to use her choir risers for our chorale group.

2) Christmas for the Garza family seemed like we were playing "catch-up" the whole entire time. Christmas shopping? All late. Christmas cards? Late. We were also singing a made up spoof of "Oh Christmas Tree" called "NO Christmas Tree".

3) Weather and Christmas shopping didn't seem to mix this year. I know. I know. We should have started Christmas shopping in October, right? We were thinking....okay...start in December! We were able to get some shopping done locally in Worland, but of course, we needed to get to Billings or Cody for savings. All I know is, we hit some pretty nasty weather trying to get to Billings, Montana. It was so bad that we were creeping at about 20 mph through a white wall of blowing snow and gusts with cars stopped in the middle of the road in the storm! Sandra and I decided that it wasn't worth the risk, so we turned around and headed back. We then decided that we would go to Cody, Wyoming instead. While in Walmart, the horrible weather hit Cody too. We started to overhear people talking about an 11 car pile-up and a woman losing her life. After we heard about a school bus being involved, and we knew our boy Jacob was coming home from a basketball game on a bus....we knew we had to get out of there! It was a horrible time trying to get home in the blizzard. We should have just stayed home that day.

4) The weekend right before Christmas, we still didn't have our Christmas shopping done, we didn't have a Christmas tree either. We finally made it to Billings. There was snow and ice everywhere, and the people there were driving "nutty"! It was dangerous! No Christmas trees could be found! Christmas shopping was almost done that day, but had to be finished the day before Christmas back in Worland.

5) We finally were able to buy a artificial "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree from True Value in Worland for 40% off. This is the first Christmas we didn't have a real Christmas tree. Oh well.

6) Then it happened...Christmas Eve. God taught me a huge lesson! Such a simple lesson! This is what God showed me..."Jeff. I know you have been stressed. I know that you are behind and trying to finish up all the loose details with Christmas worship and the program. I know that you have been hustling to get Christmas shopping with your family done. So what if you do have or don't have a Christmas tree! Remember me.....Jesus! Remember me....I am Lord. Remember me.....celebrate me!" God really revealed Himself to me in the Christmas Eve worship service that I mentioned earlier. Yes...this was Christmas. Emmanuel..God With Us! After the choir sang the program "A Night to Remember"....and the the congregation raised their lit candles singing "Silent Night", I finally finally had my eyes opened. God taught me a great lesson. He is in control. He takes care of us. All things are possible.

1John 4:4 "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."

7) We hope that you had a wonderful Christmas. Have a blessed and Happy New Year, 2009! God bless you!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Great Week and Weekend


Hey everyone. I hope you are doing well. What a nice Thanksgiving we had with about 15 people crammed into our house for the turkey dinner. It was wall-to-wall people, but I am thankful to the Lord for the many blessings!
Here are some of my thoughts to start off the new month:

1) Can you believe it's already December?

2) Just a few more practices left for the "A Night to Remember" Christmas Eve Program!

3) Do I start Christmas music for worship at church yet? Maybe one more week....

4) The youth praise band did such a wonderful job leading worship yesterday! They are really learning to serve more and more. I'm sure proud of them!

5) It was nice to spend time with my family over the Thanksgiving break. Boy did we need a break!

6) No snow in Worland yet. I hear the snowy weather will be hitting soon...... later this week!

7) It was good to talk to my mother and brothers in Idaho and California over the holiday.

8) I hope my family from out of state can come to Wyoming some day.

9) The NFL is really heating up again! My fantasy football team got knocked out of first place after many weeks at #1. Wheels Warriors / a.k.a. The Spoiler Kids (Dennis Wheeler) got me this week. This changed my seeding in the playoffs. It may be the end for me this year. Oh well...I guess I deserved it after talking smack. Great fun this year!

10) I got to drive Rusty the Bug again yesterday, after a few days off. Lots of fun! Rusty is sitting right outside ready to go again.....I love the lower gas prices!!! VW's rock!

11) Did you hear Pastor Shaun and I yelling from blocks away enjoying the Sunday night football game??? Shaun and I both agree that football is the best sport!!! Go Cowboys! He won't agree with me about my team though!

12) Jacob is wrapping up basketball season soon. I'm proud of him. He has worked so hard trying to play and suffering from a deep cough at the same time. He says he's ready for the season to be over. He can't wait to hurdle again in track. I don't blame him.

13) Joshua and I made an igloo out of sugar cubes for his Native American project. It took forever! We had fun though....especially sealing the cubes with white cake frosting. It was finger licking good.

14) Caleb is doing well. Everyone better be careful driving the streets and walking on the sidewalks....he turned 16 and got his drivers license!

15) Why does car insurance have to be so expensive?

16) I've gotta lose some weight......have you seen Pastor Shaun?

17) I guess I just have to take Hank the Cowdog for walks. That would help.....but we call our dog Hankenstein....he's a monster! Go figure....walks won't be easy.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Hockey with FBC Student Ministries!


Wow! What a Saturday we had! I had a great time taking the FBC Student Ministry kids up to Cody for a Yellowstone Quake hockey game! I drove 6 kids up in our Explorer.

We all met at the Cody Burger King first to chuck down some cheeseburgers, fries, pop, etc. Then we drove a few blocks to the event center. Of course we had to wait for the tickets because we were early, but the kids enjoyed goofing around in the mean time.

When we finally got inside. We got some great rink side seats. Yes..it was cold at first, but once all of the crowds got there, it quickly got warmer in the building.

The action was great, seeing the players knock each other into the plexi-glass in front of us, and the crowd screaming and yelling! Things even got rough on the ice when some players let their anger get the best of them. The Yellowstone Quakes were winning all through the periods until the last :38 seconds on the clock, when The Billings Bulls scored and sent the game into overtime. Then the world came crashing down for the Quakes.....They lost in sudden death with another 30 some seconds on the clock.

Oh well. We all had a great time anyway. It was wonderful getting rowdy with the youth from our church. Can't wait to go to Acquire the Fire now!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Blessings After Broken Down!


Last Saturday our car broke down in Cody after we left Walmart. It was chugging and dying! How were we to get home? Well, the Lord took care of us! I know we broke down, which was frustrating, but God worked some miracles. First of all, I thank Him for the fact that we have AAA insurance and roadside assistance. I called AAA and they informed me that we had a 100 mile radius towing package. This was the first miracle. We live exactly 98 miles from where our car was! Praise God! Other miracles? It wasn't snowing, raining, or freezing! We could have been out in the middle of the Wyoming NOWHERE! Walmart gave us good shelter until the tow truck was able to get there. And....we had a really good driver who knew what he was doing that took us back to Worland.
The weird thing is what we found out after we got our car fixed. A bug somehow got past the air filter, got stuck in a sensor and shorted the sensor out. It is amazing how a little creature could knock out a big car. Well anyway.......Thank God we made it home!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wednesday's Thoughts


Do you ever have those times when a million things are racing through your head? Here is a list of my thoughts today:

1) Thank you, Lord, for my wonderful wife and family!

2) America is getting a new president.....Lord please come back soon!
3) I need to call my brothers a whole lot more. I finally talked to my little brother Monday night.

4) I feel like having some tacos from Taco Johns!

5) My break at work is almost over.

6) My Dallas Cowboys are playing horrible this year!!!!

7) I wish all three of my boys were playing football again and the season wasn't over!

8) Will the Cubbies make the playoffs and make it to the World Series next year?

9) I need to learn more songs to teach to the youth on Wednesday nights. I have to make time to sit down and do it!

10) How many rehearsals do have this week???!!!

11) Lord please reduce my stress!

12) Boy! Pastor Shaun's brother is ruthless in fantasy football! I've got to beat him this week.

13) I love the smack talk that we have in the fantasy football league. Can you believe that Pastor Shaun and I have even written smack poetry?

14) My son, Jacob Garza, is playing middle school basketball. Can't wait to see him play.

15) Lord please help me coordinate the sound crew, media, and musician rotations. Some people will be gone on their rotation.

16) Yikes! The Christmas Eve program is quickly approaching!

17) Kids in my class are getting ready to leave the Wyoming Boys' School. Lord....are they ready for the real world?

18) What can I do to motivate the boys at the WBS to earn their positive weeks?

19) I've got to do more walking and exercising!

20) I've got to lose weight but.....man do those tacos from Taco John sound good!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Wyoming Boys' School!


Wow! What an incredible experience this last Sunday at the Wyoming Boys' School. We had the privilege once again to preach the gospel and worship with the boys. They were clapping and praising God with the worship team, but best of all, several of the boys surrendered their hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ after Pastor Shaun gave the invitation. The Holy Spirit was really at work in that little chapel. Please keep praying for our team as we go in each month. What a wonderful mission it has been to share our faith in Him! We are excited to see what else the Lord will be doing at the WBS!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Night to Remember!


Hey 1st Baptist! We are looking for people who can sing and be a part of a wonderful Christmas Eve celebration service. We will be meeting on Thursday, October 30, at 6:30 pm to pass out the Christmas program music. We will then have a brief run-through of the music to get a head start. The program is called A Night to Remember, and we truly want this Christmas Eve to be one we won't forget. The program includes narration, and we are also planning on having our children be a part of the nativity. The children will join us as we get closer to December. We want to rejoice as we take the congregation through the journey of Jesus' birth. We want to celebrate this incredible night that Jesus came to earth. Come join us!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Amazing Early Snow Storm!


It's been a long time since I have written. Wow! God really showed His power that He can do whatever He wants! Worland, Wyoming and the rest of the State of Wyoming got hit by a big snow storm over the weekend! Every person I know has told me that they weren't ready for it, and neither were we. We got about a foot of snow. We were all wearing short sleeve shirts and shorts just last week!


All the trees in town are breaking branches like crazy because of the weight of the snow being held on because their leaves have not fallen yet. As a matter of fact, we saw a huge branch that fell on a car while we were on our way home from Pastor Jess' house.


There have been a couple of challenging things about the snow being early this year. Thank God we haven't had any roads that are really icy yet, but it has been hard to see going through the weather! The barn and animals on our property are a muddy mess! That makes for challenging chores in the morning and evening.


The fun thing about the snow was watching Caleb's varsity football game last Friday night in the snow. We froze! But, it was all worth it! Our Worland Warriors beat the Thermopolis Bobcats 20-0 slipping and sliding all over the field! What a great battle in the white stuff!


God, thank you for the snow. We pray that we can catch up and be ready for winter before the next storm. Amen.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Xelda Mae Arlen Ditmer


As many already know, Xelda Ditmer passed away last Monday. She truly loved the Lord here on earth, and I'm sure that she is loving Him even more in Heaven. She served the Lord many years and in many ways. We will miss her tremendously! She is in such a better place with our Lord Jesus praising Him!

The first time I met Xelda was about seven years ago when my family and I moved to Worland, Wyoming. We wanted to go to church and worship, but didn't know where to begin looking. We decided to try 1st Baptist because we came from a baptist church. Right when we walked into the front door of the church, Xelda was there to greet us. We asked about Sunday school for the children and of course for us. She pointed us in the right direction and helped lead our children, Caleb, Jacob, and Joshua to their Sunday School classes. We felt comfortable from the very start at 1st Baptist. We have been at 1st Baptist ever since. Had we not felt comfortable with Xelda helping us, we may have been at another church now.

Thank you, Lord, that you had Xelda in our lives. We also thank you for her husband Bob Ditmer; we will continue to keep him in our prayers.

One verse that she always quoted to me was: Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

Xelda.....we will keep seeking first the kingdom of God. Thanks for the encouragement!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Are you ready for some football?????!!!!


Hey football fans! It is that time of year again. My favorite! Fall and football! I'm looking forward to watching Worland Warrior Football with Caleb playing, Worland Braves Football with Jacob playing, and watching Joshua getting to play flag football!

On top of that.....yesterday was a glorious day....NFL KICKOFF! I am playing in a fantasy football league again this year along with Pastor Shaun, Dennis Wheeler, Brent Kalfell, and eight other guys, following the NFL season. I'm hoping to get back into the playoffs again this year! Good luck fellas...and and watch out for the Wyo Cowboys.

Back to our local kids......please pray for the safety of our local athletes. They just want to have fun against their opponents. Please pray that the Lord will have His protective hand over them.

Let's get ready to rumble!!!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Baby in the Family!


Hey Everyone! We are excited all over again! Pastor Jess and Heather Rollema now have a new little one as part of their family.......part of our family too! Heather gave birth to a 7lb-12oz, 22 1/2” BOY! His name is Kyston James Rollema! I'm here to tell you....when this new nephew of ours is old enough. We are going to wind the kid up and let it go like a top......pay back Uncle Jess!


With that aside and out of my system. Congratulations Jess and Heather! We love you! We're glad that you are doing well. You are also in our prayers. We are so happy for you guys! You have our commitment to help you when needed. God bless you!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Me Love COOKIES!

As some of you may know......besides being the worship minister at 1st Baptist, I teach multiple subjects at the Wyoming Boys' School. We just wrapped up our summer school session and have started the 1st Quarter of the 2008-2009 school year.

We received a wonderful treat from our church. COOKIES!!! Boy..were they yummy! On behalf of all the teachers in Worland, including the ones out at the Wyoming Boys' School, I want to say thank you for the cookies and prayer! Gail Carver and her Creative Ministries team did a wonderful job baking, organizing, and delivering about 150 DOZEN cookies to all of the school staffs in Worland.

It all started with a vision called "Cookies and Prayer" at 1st Baptist Church. I received many "thank yous" from the WBS staff that needed to be passed along to those that worked so hard to make this vision happen. Our educational folks need prayer along with our students for safety, peer relations, and of course learning.

Col 3:23 &24
"And whatsoever ye do, do [it] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ."

Gail and team....wonderful job serving! We thank you! I know that the Lord thanks you for all of your hard work. May God bless you and the ministry.


Monday, August 18, 2008

What a Weekend!

Yes....what can I say? This was a very busy weekend! But...you have probably figured it out already that it's like this all the time!!



* Friday Sandra and I drove to Winchester and got a truck load of oats out of a field with a combine. We were itching all of the way home.

* Saturday Caleb, Jacob, and I unloaded the oats into bags. We were able to save $$$ by doing it this way instead of buying it by the bag at the feed store. We were itching and scratching the whole time....but it was worth it, especially in today's economy. The only bad thing about bagging the oats was trying to avoid breathing the chaff in.

After the lawns were all mowed we then got ready for Joshua's 9th birthday (kid) party. The kids had a great time throwing water balloons at each other and playing on the slide/play set. We then had a fun time beating on the panda pinata. A little girl from down the road hit the pinata the very first whack and knocked the panda's head clean off. Everybody laughed like crazy....you had to have seen it to appreciate it.

After chores then we had to head out to my in-laws house for a dinner and cake/ ice cream. Joshua of course enjoyed opening presents with cousin Trae Bennett helping.

* Sunday I was down at the church at 7:30 am to practice before the 8:30 early service. The Digital Hymnal was not working properly.....after a little coaxing and a phone call, I finally got it go. The worship team then led for the 2nd service. Pastor Shaun taught an incredible sermon on Revelations. We look forward to more of it next week.

After church, the worship team had a barbecue at the park in appreciation. Then we rushed home and got ready for another barbecue that Student Ministries was having at our house. We quickly set up tables, chairs, a volleyball net, and other games. The students finally hit our house from 5-8pm. Wow! What a great turnout it was!

Even though I'm drained today....it was ALL worth it!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Training Up Children!



Proverbs 22:6
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

God never said that this would be easy.

Sandra and I love our boys. They are full of energy: playing, they are musical, athletic......but the most important thing is they believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Just like every kid, our boys need attention in many ways. They are getting ready to go back to school. Meaning, they need school clothes, books, binders, pencils.....Yikes! It can get expensive! They need to get back on a schedule to get ready for chores, school, and sports practice. They have been going everywhere this summer and their schedules have been thrown off. The mood around the house isn't the greatest when Sandra and I are trying to get them going on a normal schedule again. It can be difficult.

Parents....I know you are probably going through some of the same things that the Garzas are.... trying to get your kids ready for school and back on a regular schedule. As I mentioned above......it's not easy. We need to rely on God to help us with our children. Let's pray that not only will we take care of the physical needs of our children, let's pray that we will continue to train up our children spiritually in Jesus Christ.

As the new school year starts, we pray DEAR Lord that you will guide and protect our children. Help them to make godly decisions in Jesus' name. Help us as parents to guide our children to walk the Christian walk in the way that you want us to. Lord...Help them with their studies, their peers, their teachers, and of course their relationship with You. Lord, help them to stick up for their beliefs in You and not be side-tracked with worldly psycho-babble! When our children are old......we want to be sure that they have not departed from you. Lord....we love you...In Jesus Name.


Amen






Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Wonderful Wife!


Ephesians 5:25
"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it..."


I know that husbands are commanded to love their wives. I truly do love my wife! Sandra has been a blessing in my life. She is hard working, a great mother of our children, my help-mate, and the list goes on and on. I wish I could do more for her.


For the last 2 days we were able to get away and stay in Billings, Montana for our anniversary. We have been married 18 years as of Tuesday, August 5, 2008. She really wanted to go walk around, shop, and spend time together. We spent a lot of time walking and talking. We had a great dinner. We have our favorite Chinese food place in Billings! AWESOME! We even got to have Cold Stone Creamery ice cream together! All I can say is, it was a treat to get away, especially mid-week.


I thank God that we had a great time together and had a safe trip there and back. The only bad thing about going to Billings was the traffic! Even in the traffic, Sandra and I had time to share with one another.


If you read this....Thank you Uncle Jess (Pastor) and Aunt Heather for staying with the kids and helping us with our farm animals while we were gone.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Biker Sunday!


Wow! Praise the Lord! What a turn out for our annual "Biker Sunday" at 1st Baptist!


It all started with a brunch down in the social hall with the bikers and families. Pam, Dottie, and the ladies did a wonderful job setting up and serving us all! Donuts, fresh fruit, cereal, juice, bagels......OH MY! We had some good fellowship and a great turnout. There was a silent auction on different items that included a Harley Davidson telephone.


We then went into the sanctuary and worshipped together! What a numerous crowd! We were able to crank the worship up and give the Lord a high energy worship set. After the worship, Pastor Shaun presented the Gospel. God really used him yesterday! One of the bikers was saved giving his heart to the Lord Jesus Christ.


After all the excitement of the morning and wrapping up fair week, we went home. My family and I all crashed with naps. I can't believe that with all of the adrenaline of the morning....it completely wiped me out! I took a two hour nap! That NEVER happens! But.......I needed it!


Believe it or not...Pastor Shaun called me later yesterday afternoon asking to watch football. What an end to a great day! FOOTBALL!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Oh Boy!!! What a busy week!!! Whew!!!







Wow! What a busy week this has been!


* This last Sunday we worshipped in church and then had the opportunity once again to head out to the Wyoming Boys' School to minister to the boys. The worship was well received and the Name of Jesus Christ was lifted up in a big way!


* Monday started with the kick off of the Washakie County Fair. Good food! Visiting friends!....of course Tuesday was the day that all our goats and sheep had to get checked in and weighed in. Kudos to Sandra, our boys, and Uncle Chisum for getting the animals there while I had to work.


* Monday night Caleb Garza, Kaleb Craft, Jarod Craft, Nic Craft, and Nick McMarten played a two hour concert at the Washakie County Fairgrounds. They really rocked the place! I think it could have been even louder!


* Caleb, Jacob, and Joshua (our boys) showed their breeding lambs, market lambs, and dairy goats in the goat and lamb show on Wednesday! I can't believe how hot the day was.....the animals were panting in the heat....I think the owners were too! Whew! The boys did very well in the competition. They were able to place several times including some championships and championship reserves.


* Thursday night the whole worship team got together to prepare for the upcoming "Biker Sunday" this coming weekend. We learned a new song called "My Savior Lives" that really rocks for the Lord. We are looking forward to playing it in church this Sunday.


* Can you believe we are in August now? Wow! Time is flying!


* It has been so busy I had to start this post on Thursday and finish it today...(Friday). We finally made it to Friday. The sheep sale is on Saturday! I can't wait for it to be over. Then we start all over with the new week.


Thank you Lord that you helped us to survive this week!!! God bless you guys!








Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Not the right time for fishing!


Well...yesterday's events were pretty much done, the chores were finished, dinner was over, and Caleb had some friends over to practice music for the fair. So..... Jacob, Joshua, and I decided that we would go fishing for a little while at the Worland pond behind our place.
The sky was getting dark and stormy, and Sandra warned us that we better be careful if we were out there. After we got to the pond, we had just gotten our worms on the hooks for fishing and casted out into the pond, when the wind started to pick up and lighting was going off around us at a distance. We thought that everything was fine and that we would continue fishing.

After about a half an hour not catching any fish, the lightning started to get a lot closer, but we still wanted to fish, so Joshua and I decided to go further around the pond through the weeds and brush. As I was leading Joshua through the brush, I heard a hiss and rattle. Just a few feet ahead coiled and warning us was a rattlesnake. WE DECIDED THAT WE WERE DONE FISHING FOR THE EVENING! Needless to say....we decided that we would probably have better luck on another day without a lightning storm and rattlesnakes!!!! It was time to get home.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hard working student from FBC!!!


Let me tell you......our kids from First Baptist Church are working hard on their mission projects with Student Ministries. I also have to tell you that Pastor Jess and Heather Rollema are doing a great job of leading these kids in our community for Christ. Instead of going out of state or country on a mission trip, the student team decided to make their Christ driven mission right here in Worland, Wyoming. Instead of World Changers like they did last year...they are calling the projects..WORLAND CHANGERS!! It has been exciting to see our youth working in the name of Jesus Christ!


I had the privilege to be able to work on one of the projects with them last Friday.....and that was to help a local lady clear her back yard of brush and leaves. It took nearly all morning, but it was a blessing to see the middle school and high school kids diligently getting things done. They also stacked all of the extra fire wood that was in the back yard in a storage shed. To top it off, when the students were done at that house, they made their way to another on-going painting project for another elderly couple. I'm impressed Jess and Student Ministries! Keep working hard!


I do have to tell the story.......I took 5 students with me in my pickup to take a ton of branches to the dump. While the engine was running and all got out, someone accidentally bumped the electric lock on the door, locking all of us out. The truck sat there running while we desperately looked for wire to break into my truck to be able to get back to the project. One of kids even thought she could pick the lock in the door of my truck....we just laughed. Finally I was able to get the door open, unload the truck, and get us all back! Fun! Fun!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Washakie County Fair!



I can't believe that it's that time of year again. The boys are walking their suffolk lambs to get them ready for the 4-H show at the Washakie County Fair. They are making sure that they are getting plenty of lamb grower feed. Caleb, Jacob, and Josh are starting to trim and shear the lambs. The only trouble that they seem to be facing this year is that they should have been working their lambs a little earlier this year. The lambs are still a little wild and hard to handle. All I know is the lambs better be tame enough for the show on July 30th. Just to give you an idea how wild some of the lambs are, Joshua tried running his lamb, he tripped still hanging on, and the lamb drug him several yards scraping up his knees and hitting his head on the gravel road yesterday.

This year both Jacob and Joshua will be showing our nubian dairy goats too. We are excited because they will be presenting the goats under our new registered herd name: JS Wyokiddin' It is always fun to see them show all dressed in their dairy white.

Good luck to all 4-H members in the Washakie County Fair starting the last week in July. It ought to be good competition this year. It should also be very hot weather....so take care of your animals and get them plenty of water!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ugly Duckling!



Okay! Okay! Sure....I'm being teased a lot lately because of my Volkswagen Baja Bug. Unfortunately Sandra and I had to take measures to help with the gas crunch....that was to buy a cheap Beetle and park the pickup. Can you believe these gas prices? It was cheaper to get the Bug than to continue filling up the Ford pickup with gas to get back and forth to work. All I know is I thank the Lord for providing a cheaper way to get to work and back. If you see a goofy looking tri-colored orange....white....yellow......RUST!.....bug going around Worland, WY......don't laugh too much! Just wave and say hello. It's just me trying to pinch pennies. God bless you guys!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

1st Baptist Church Picnic!


Hey everyone! This last Sunday was great! First of all we worshiped the Lord loudly with our voices in the morning, listened to some great teaching by Pastor Shaun Matako.....and then it was time to run over to Sander's Park for the annual church picnic. Here is a list of things that my family really enjoyed:


* The deacons did a great job cooking up some burgers and hot dogs. I wish I could have had a whole lot more.

* Pam Hart and her team did a great job organizing the picnic.

* The carry'in side dishes, desserts, pop, etc. were awesome! I'm still full!

* Of course...visiting friends from our church was a highlight. I hope even more people will come next year.

* Jacob, Joshua, and I really enjoyed getting into the games that Jodi Matako planned. There was the water balloon toss (I got to splash Joshua and then he got me back in front of everybody in the seat of my pants!); we had spoon and egg races; we had a candy parachute (We shook the parachute too hard to pop candy out of it......we accidentally ripped the parachute, so we threw the candy everywhere for the kids to get!).

* At this time I had to get Sandra home because her ankle was aching bad from the sprain she had gotten that morning from stepping of a curb. I took her home and had to head back for the kids. Don't worry.....Sandra went to the doctor yesterday, and she is doing a lot better!


By the time the event was over, we were beat. It was then time to go home and take a nap. I can't wait for next year! I hope the weather will be perfect for it again. Thank you Lord for a wonderful time with my family and church family!

Monday, July 7, 2008

What a 4th!



This year our family got together for a dinner and fireworks out at my father-in-law's ranch in Manderson, WY to celebrate the 4th of July. The food was great! Barbecued hamburgers over a wood fire grill! YUM! The kids had fun playing games throwing bean bags and getting rowdy! The biggest rowdy kid had to have been Uncle (Pastor) Jess. You should have seen the fireworks that he set off!!!

Believe it or not, one of the highlights before we even started lighting the fireworks was catching the fish in the cow water trough with our hands and little nets. The boys made a muddy wet mess! It was great laughing at the kids!

Little Trae Bennett had a great time walking around with sparklers. It is fun to see the little kids taking on the traditions that we have celebrating the Independence of our country! Amber celebrated by making sure that little Karys was warm in the pickup and out of the wind. Heather celebrated knowing that Baby Rollema will be born soon and will celebrate next year. Sandra, Grandma and Grandpa Bennett, and I just sat back taking it all in as the boys, Uncle Chisum and Uncle Jess went nuts!

Toward the end of the fireworks we were lighting off, Jess decided it was time to set off the FINALE that he had been working on for several hours in his basement at home. He pulled out the fireworks, nailed to a piece of plywood, which had been in the back his vehicle. Yes....he drove it to a safe spot to be fired up! We laughed so hard at what the firework display looked like. It looked like an amusement park on a piece of wood. Fire, light, explosions, whistles.....it did it all! I especially like the two bottle rockets that were supposed to explode in the air.....ending up exploding on the ground. KABOOM!! WHAT A SHOWER OF SPARKS!!!!

Anyway.......thanks Family for a great time of celebration. Thank you God for the country that we live in. God Bless America!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Student Ministries Youth Band!


I am so proud of our youth and for their dedication to worship! Niki McCaffrey, Mikaela Michaels, Brittany Anderson, Jacob Garza, Caleb Garza, and Nic Craft did a BANG UP job leading our congregation in worship yesterday! They didn't seem nervous at all as they stood there, serving the Lord in praises! The voices were chiming, the instruments rocking....I am sure that God was well pleased and blessed.

Several youth helped with the offertory too. I want to thank each of them as well, with their leadership.

Jess Rollema brought a great message to the congregation with the word and great teaching illustrations. I especially liked the one about the juice from the orange squirting everywhere. You are right Jess.....let's keep having the juice and aroma getting everywhere.......i.e. Let's keep spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

Wecome Baby Bennett!



Hey! How exciting it is when a new baby is born into the family! Congratulations to Chisum and Amber Bennett.....my brother and sister in law. Karys Bennett was born to them last week, a beautiful baby girl. Also congratulation to Trae Bennett for being a new BIG brother! Sandra, the boys, and I finally got to go and see the new addition at the Bennett house yesterday. Karys is a cutie....and Trae really needed our boys to play with.

Sandra and I enjoyed visiting with Chisum, Amber, and Karys. We can't believe how much the baby looks like Trae in his baby pictures. It almost made Sandra and I want another baby.........ahhhh NO! But.... having a niece in the family will be nice. We're so use to having boys running around...we don't even know what it is like to have a girl.

I am really proud that our church jumped right in to help Chisum and Amber with meals. As a matter of fact, Cheryl Jackson showed up with a meal for them when we were there. Good job 1st Baptist!

Chisum and Amber...we will be praying for you and your new little one. We love you, and God bless you! Trae...be a good boy and a good helper. By the way........Jess and Heather Rollema are next!!!! It will be fun winding their little one up like a top too...when the baby is older.

Remember....

Proverbs 22:6
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wyoming Boys' School Ministry

"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." - Mark 1:17 NIV

What a day it was yesterday in worship! Of course we loved lifting up the Name of the Lord for the first and second service, but the highlight of the day was taking the 1st Baptist Wyoming Boys' School Ministry team for the afternoon service. Many don't realize all that goes into the afternoon.

* We thank the Lord Jesus Christ for this opportunity to minister for Him!

* I want to thank Sally Craft and my wife Sandra Garza for coordinating and cooking the lunches each month for the team before we go to the WBS. They do such an outstanding job with this boost that we are raring to go presenting the Gospel through song and message.

* Thanks goes to Steve Craft for hustling around stretching wire, monitors, etc., trying to get our sound going. You the man!

* Thanks goes to Sally Craft and Becci Kalfell for putting together our song sheets to be passed out to the young men in attendance at the WBS.

* Thanks to the Matakos for their involvement with the ministry....to Jodi for letting us take Shaun and also for her help with Sally and Sandra. A big thank you goes to Shaun for bringing awesome messages to share to the boys, staff, and worship team!

* Our thanks should also go out to the staff of the Wyoming Boys' School for allowing us to come and minister to the boys.

* Let's not forget the 1st Baptist Mission team for supporting us over the period that we have been a part of the boy's school ministry.

Now.....we give total thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ over all! We were blessed to see about 20 boys give their hearts to the Lord yesterday. Kaleb Craft, Nic Craft, Caleb Garza, Ben McMillan, Ashley Craft, and I loved playing and singing worship to the Lord as the boys sang along. Shaun spoke about being lost in the "wilderness" and needing the Savior to rescue us. It was really powerful to see what the Holy Spirit did yesterday! Please keep our team in prayer as we go in to present the Gospel message. It has been wonderful to see the Spirit in action and lives being saved. We look forward to going back next month in July! To God be the Glory!!!!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day!


Happy Belated Father's Day. It was a great day! First of all.....I thank God for my boys and my wife. They made it a great day! Thanks for the gifts including: Bocce Ball, mug, candy, shorts, Hot Wheels, lounge chair, etc. I love you!


We started the day with praise and worship at 1st Baptist! Worship went well! Shaun's message was great! It was great to give tribute to the ultimate Father....Our Father in Heaven.


After worship at First Baptist, our church family headed for Newell Sargent Park for a church picnic. We had a great time in fellowship. Kids played including Pastor Jess and Pastor Shaun.....lots of baseball. I didn't because I was just too busy talking and meeting new people that have visited our church. It was good to see new folks having fellowship with us. What a great picnic!


After the picnic, we had to mow the lawn, but it was fun playing a game of Bocce Ball afterwards with my new set with my boys, Caleb, Jacob, and Joshua. Jacob won. I got last place this time!


I got to watch a movie with my wife Sandra! It was a great day!


Thank you God for my family! I love them. Lord....strengthen us fathers as we walk with you. Amen.

Monday, June 9, 2008

My Wonderful Wife!


Ephesians 5:33 "Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband."


Yes! I love my wife Sandra! As you may know, my wife and mother-in-law, along with my two younger boys, Jacob and Joshua, were out of town for several days. In the mean time, my oldest son, Caleb, and I were being "bachelors" and trying to take care of the place. Needless to say....it was rough without Sandra! Read my previous post! I even accidentally stabbed myself in the kitchen!


Anyway.....when my wife is gone, I quickly realize how much I need her. I realize how much she does for us at home. I truly missed her company while she was gone. Besides..... it sure was nice to get a good home cooked meal when she got settled back in at home.


While I was mowing my lawn on my little red tractor yesterday, I saw how hard she was working, planting the garden. She is such a hard worker, trying to be a good wife and mother. I am so proud of her. I love her with all of my heart!


Welcome home Sandra! I'm so glad you are back! I love you Sweetheart! I thank God for you!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

No knives please!


Yes! It is true...you need to keep me out of the kitchen when it comes to preparing food! Saturday morning after doing chores....I came in from the barn and decided that it would be great to make some breakfast burritos with fresh scrambled eggs and bacon. I had to take the bacon out of the freezer. As I was working on the frozen bacon with a kitchen knife, I slipped with the knife and ran it right into the palm of my hand! I bled like a stuck pig!....all over the counter, all over the floor, all in the sink! I finally got the bleeding to stop, washed the wound, and put disinfectant on it. I also wrapped it after thinking that it didn't look "too" bad for stitches.


Later that day my son Caleb and I drove to Thermopolis for his double-header baseball game. While I was there, my hand started to throb with pain really bad! It was turning black and blue. I tried ice. It worked a little. At the end of baseball, I told Caleb that we needed to get home as quickly as possible. When I got home, I called Pastor Shaun and Jodi and told them I didn't think that I could play guitar to lead worship in the morning. Bless their hearts, we all went down to the church and put together a CD version of worship for the next morning. Then I went home after Shaun told me to call him if I needed anything. At home I took my wrap off and was startled to see how bad my hand was. I called Pastor Shaun back and told him that I was on the way to the emergency room. This tells you what kind of a pastor we have.......Shaun went down and stayed with me at the emergency room until after midnight!!!!


By the time it was all over, the doctors had to cut off my wedding band, soaked my hand, given me antibiotics, and had my hand wrapped. The main emergency doctor told me that I had nicked an artery, and that was the reason for all of the black, blue, purple,.......etc. He told me that he was glad that I had not waited much longer to get to the hospital.


Thank you Lord for taking care of me. Thank you Lord that I was at least able to help with worship using CD's the next day. Thank you Lord for good medical care. Thank you Lord for Pastor Shaun and Jodi being there when I needed them.
I will be a lot more careful in the kitchen! I'm just glad that I didn't bring in the power tools to cut up the bacon!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Windy! Rainy! Hail! Tornado! Funnel Cloud!


Wow! I am amazed at the weather that we have been having here in the Big Horn Basin! We have had solid rain with very little break in the weather since the last time that I wrote about our weather back on May 22nd. The Big Horn River and canals are swelling with water. Yesterday a tornado touched down south of Worland near the little town of Kirby. Funnel clouds could be seen going in and out of the clouds behind the Wyoming Boys' School! Here is a picture of what one of the funnels looked like near here. I was told to be ready to evacuate the boys from my class if it got too bad! It got mighty dark, the wind was blowing, and then a down pour happened while we were in class! Caleb called me at work and was ready for me to come home from work. Wow! We sure look small compared to the Power of God and his creation! Thank you God that it wasn't real serious and no one got hurt!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Oh God be my strength and my shield!



1John 4:4 "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.


One time I was walking along a street in Belfast, Northern Ireland, carrying shopping bags full of new clothes that I had just purchased for the road. I was already about two months into a short term missions trip with the Continental Singers, and the clothes that I needed for the tour were worn out after being washed over and over again.


As I was walking along with my bags, I got too close to a British Army armed vehicle.....and I will never forget. I heard the words, "Move along!" in a thick British accent and guns were pointed at me. I realized then that I may have looked suspicious with my shopping bags because of the uprisings that were still happening during that time in the 1980's in Ireland. Whew!!!!!


I think of that armored vehicle and the armor that those soldiers had on. They were pretty well protected, but were still on alert to the dangers that were around them in that very political time. Much like those soldiers on alert, I realize that I (we) need to be on alert and on guard against the devil's schemes and prowl! I am so thankful that I have the Lord as my protection. However, I'm still a sinner! Satan likes to throw his lies at us even when we're God's children.


Thank you Lord that we as Christians are of You! You guide us and overcome the evil one! Thank you that greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. When Satan and his demons come against us, You are our Comforter and our Shield. I thank you that you have given us armor and protection!


Ephesians 6:11 "Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."


You give us the strength that we can say, "MOVE ALONG!" to the devil in the power of Your Spirit.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

One Nation Under God?



Philippians 2:10-11
"That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father."


We live in a nation that is becoming more and more corrupt. After taking part in our Memorial Day service, singing patriotic songs, and saying the Pledge of Allegiance, I keep thinking about how much our nation as a whole has changed even in my lifetime, running away from God. Our nation isn't recognizing our God like it once did. The Ten Commandments are being taken down from public places! People are lobbying to take GOD out of the Pledge of Allegiance!


I remember prayer being a big part of opening meetings and closing meetings in the public school. I remember being handed a Gideon's Bible in the classroom. Now Gideons are lucky if they are allowed to give them out across the street from the school! And....why did prayer have to be taken out of our schools??!


Christians! Let's pray for revival in The United States of America! Let's continue to teach our children about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! We need to keep teaching them that prayer is important regardless of what state our nation is in! Yes, we are proud to be Americans, but we serve our Lord first and foremost! Let's remember what the Lord has done for us on the cross!


Let's also remember that we need to pray for our nation to return to God. We need to pray for our president. We need to pray for our nation's leadership, and also for their true salvation. Pray for the future of our nation, especially in this time of war and elections. God Bless the U.S.A!


No matter what becomes of our nation, good or bad, we know that we have hope in the eternal life that Jesus Christ gives as a free gift for those who believe in Him. Share the Gospel! One thing is for certain.....One day.....every knee shall bow.......every tongue will confess....that Jesus Christ is Lord!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Grace Like Rain!


Ephesians 2:8-9 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; [it is] the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."


Wow! It has been pouring rain outside here in Worland! Boy....do we need it! We have lived in Worland for 6 years, and the whole time we have been in a drought. The snow and the rain that we have had in the past winter and now spring season has sure helped our land.


With the rain.... it brings life! Everything looks greener and brighter around here. I started to think of a newer song that we have been singing in worship at church, called "Grace Like Rain". God has poured his grace like rain on us, giving us His gift of eternal life, for those who believe by faith. It is by His grace through our faith in Him that we are saved! Wow! Saints....we have have life! Eternal life!


Lord...thank you for your life sustaining grace that you have poured upon us. Thank you for salvation! Lord...help us to have our faith built upon you and what you have for us, based on your promises in your word.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Big THANK YOU to Michele Decker!


Michele Decker, as many of you know, is a very talented musician that has been such a tremendous part of our worship team at 1st Baptist, Worland. Her voice has added so much quality and depth to our worship style. Besides that, she is just an all around great gal to be around. The neatest thing is.........she loves the Lord and wants to do His will!


Well....Michele has many other talents, including architecture in which she majored in, in college. She has been hired with a firm in Colorado, and will be leaving us this week to pursue this new adventure along with her daughter. God has really opened a lot of doors for this young lady to do this! Let's keep her in our prayers as she follows where the Lord will lead. Pray that she finds a good church family while she is living down there. We also know that her family, the Crafts, are a wonderful support for her, and of course her 1st Baptist Church family is too.


Thank you Michele for all that you have done for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I know He has more for you to do. He will sustain you! Thank you for what you have done for our church. We look forward to having you visit us again.......and of course share your talents when you can with us. May God bless you. We hope to have you back to visit soon!
May the Lord be your strength! Keep singing your songs as praise to Him!
Psalms 28:7 "The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Rounding up the cattle!


You know.....it is that time of year when ranchers are rounding up their cattle, cutting out the calves from the herd on horseback, and then firing up the brands, getting shots ready.........gearing up for branding. Well, that was my experience again this weekend on Saturday. It was a lot of fun working the calves with my family. It was especially fun to see the kids doing some roping!

After the branding was done, we had to put the cows into the chutes for shots and worming. When we released them from the chute to get back to their calves, a clear opened gate to the corral, many of them took a goofy wrong turn and had to be "persuaded" to get back on the right path and into the corral where they belong.

I was thinking about this yesterday. God often reveals Himself to us, giving us clear directions, and we often take goofy wrong turns, thinking we can do things on our own. Often times God has to get us back on the right path and into the "corral" that we belong. He reveals Himself a lot when we read His word! We just need to take the time to indulge in His Holy Scriptures. Yes, in our sinful nature, we are going to take wrong paths once in a while, but as we pursue the Lord and read his word, it should become less and less. I don't know about you, but I want to be in God's corral. He will even make us lie down in green pastures! Lord, thank you for your word!

Psalms 119:105 "Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

Psalms 119:11
"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."

Friday, May 16, 2008

Pastor Shaun and Jodi Matako


You talk about people who genuinely care for and love people! Pastor Shaun and Jodi Matako are working so hard in His Spirit to share the love and Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am proud to be able to work with these folks weekly, sharing the Gospel message. Their support has been truly incredible!


For instance, when I went to practice down at the church early last night, Pastor Shaun and Jodi were there and helped me set up for rehearsal. Jodi made practice CDs for hymns that are not in the digital hymnal! Shaun jumped in and helped me get sound going to let me rehearse early with my guitar before the rest of the team showed up to practice. They are truly modeling what a pastor and wife should be like in the ministry. We are so grateful to have them ministering at 1st Baptist Church in Worland. They have been so motivating to serve Christ for adults, teens, and children!


We are blessed to have the Matakos in Worland! We pray that we will have them for a very long time! They are actively involved in our community, Wyoming Boys' School ministry, children's ministry......the list goes on and on. In the words of Paul in 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, "Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of [this] calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of [his] goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ."


We need to continue praying always for our pastor and his wife and that the name of Jesus Christ will be glorified in them.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Swimmer Wife!




I am so proud of my wife Sandra! She is such a hard working women! She takes care of all of us Garza boys! One of the things that she is doing is training to be a lifeguard and aide for the Worland School District. She has all kinds or requirements that she has to pass: Written tests, physical tests that include a 12 lap endurance time, CPR, etc.

Pray for her as she does this! She's a bit nervous about it. She already has the job, but has a short time to complete all of the tests. I admit it has been difficult for her to study, trying to be a wife and mom, and also being down at the school.

She was working as a Vet Tech ,which she loved, but bless her heart, she changed jobs for her family. She will have summers off and have the same schedule as our kids. I love her! God bless you, Sandra! The Lord will see you through. Remember Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Middle School and High School Choir!!!


I am so proud of the hard work that Wendy Compton and her fellow workers have done with our students in the Worland School District. Wendy is a great part of our worship ministries at 1st Baptist, but you also should see and hear what she does with our students. The kids performed in awesome fashion last night at the middle school auditorium. They sang, did choreography, played drums, played xylophones, and much much more! I am so thankful for what these people are doing for our children.


My son Jacob absolutely loves the music program. It is something he talks about all the time. I also observe several of our 1st Baptist kids involved with singing too! The neat thing about it is that these same students are building their confidence up and singing on the youth worship team too. Great job Wendy and the rest of the music team! Great job kids!!!! Also...congratulations to Jared Craft for receiving both the choral and jazz choir awards at last night's event! God bless you guys!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Thank you Mom!


My mother's name is Elizabeth Rose Westerfeld. She was just remarried last fall to a good man name Larry Westerfeld, after being a widow of my father, Oscar Garza, for many years. I'm really proud of her making good decisions over the last several years, moving to Idaho, purchasing a new home, marrying Larry who is a Christian man.


I just wanted to say that I love my mom. She has been so supportive over the many years, especially with all of my musical endeavors. Of course she was there with all the bumps, bruises, blood, etc. as I was growing up, but I remember most of all, the time of support with my music. Who helped me get music lessons? Mom. Who supported me and drove me everywhere for music concerts? Mom. Who allowed me to travel the country and England with music groups? Mom.


Mom, thank you for life, your love, your support, and care over the many years. The prayers for my family have been felt. Thank you. All of the support and prayers over the years have helped lead me to be able to minister for the Lord Jesus Christ as Worship Minister at First Baptist and in the community of Worland. God bless you and Larry, Mom!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

OUCH!


Ouch! My little son Josh, a second grader, broke his arm yesterday on the playground at school. He was very brave at the hospital! While he was there and calming down, he said two humorous things. 1) He said that he was glad it was before the Thermopolis 3-on-3 basketball tourney! 2) He blamed the broken arm on greasy chicken! I asked him what it had to do with greasy chicken. He said that he had greasy chicken for lunch in the cafeteria, didn't wash his hands and went straight for the monkey bars. With greasy hands, he slipped from the playground equipment......so it was the chicken's fault! Oh well......we are grateful to God that he is going to be alright and that the break was not a severe one. I guess we all need to be on the lookout of greasy chicken! It can be dangerous!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Wings as Eagles!


Isaiah 40: 31 "But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew [their] strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint."


What incredible words to read when you are feeling down......sometimes feeling down for the count. Recently I was feeling miserable in my walk with the Lord....just plain old exhausted. I felt downright attacked! Those of you who know what I mean have experienced it to the point that you just want to throw in the towel. By the grace of God...... and speaking with God, it is truly amazing how he answers with words like these from Isaiah 40:31.


When I think about the eagle.....cutting through the strong winds of Wyoming, and floating gracefully on gusts, what a perfect simile that scripture paints a picture with. The Lord lifts us up like the eagle! I am so glad that the Lord is TOTAL strength!


Thank you Lord for your renewal even when I have to be renewed daily! Lord forgive me when I blow it and forget that you put the wind under my wings. Lord God...help me to wait on you.


Amen

Monday, May 5, 2008

Broken Washing Machine


As I'm sitting here at the computer, I'm singing "Amazed", a new song that we are singing with our congregation on Sunday mornings now. I am truly amazed about God's faithfulness, his promises, and his truth.


Speaking of His promises and truth...... I am reminded that what Christ says in scripture will never pass away. He said in Matthew 24:35 "Heaven and earth will pass away, buy My words will by no means pass away."


You know....we get spoiled by inventions around us that we depend on, like cars to get us to work or WASHING MACHINES to clean our clothes! Our washing machine broke down and flooded our laundry room Saturday night. Sandra and I might even have to buy a new one because the old one isn't "cost effective" to get fixed. The old one will probably go to the dump, get smashed, get rusty.........it's dead! It has passed away!


I am so glad that the truth that Jesus spoke will NEVER pass away! It will not get rusty! His truth does not get smashed! His truth will not pass away and go to the dump!


THE ENDURING WORD:


1 Peter 1:22-25 "Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart. having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because All flesh is as grass, And all glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the Lord endures forever."



Friday, May 2, 2008

1st Baptist Worship Team


I have just got to say that the people that we have on our Sunday Morning Worship Team at 1st Baptist are the best. I have thrown a lot of new songs at them in the last few months, and God has given them the talent to pick them up so quickly. I look forward to continuing with them in our efforts to build our worship song library in the coming months. Their patience with me has been outstanding! Our rotation of musicians has worked out well, and I think that everything has been settling in well with the two new services. Praise the Lord!


I just need to remember the words of Paul from Philippians 4:13, " I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Hey...without the guidance of His Spirit...where would we be in the ministry???


Thank you Ashley, Wendy, Michelle, Lloyd, Caleb, Kaleb, Nic, Ben, Kevin, Sally, Steve, and all the support crew for your willingness to serve our risen Savior, Jesus Christ. Also, a big thanks for Pastor Shaun and Jodi for their devotion to our church and support of Worship Ministries! A big thanks to Jess, Heather, and Becci too for all of their help and support! God bless you guys!


We have a lot of work to do....but it's worth it to help build God's Kingdom!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

How About Those Cubbies???


I know that they are neck-and-neck in the National League Central with the Cardinals....but how about those Cubbies???!! They have had a great start. Now I know what you are going to say....."They're the Cubs!" Hey the Red Sox finally did it! I think the Cubbies are getting closer! I think with Lou as manager, Soriano, Zambrano, Pie, Wood, Theroit, etc. Could it be that the World Series is getting closer? Time will tell...there is still a lot of baseball! They're getting ready for the Cardinals in the next few days. But how about the 19-5 WIN over the Brewers!!! Awesome! GO CUBS!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Soulfisher


I have really enjoyed praising the Lord as worship minister at 1st Baptist here in Worland, Wyoming. Many people ask me if I miss living in California. To tell you the truth.....I don't miss the state. We have lived in Worland, Wyoming for almost 6 years. This is home. Yes I miss family and friends.....but you know what I miss the most back in California? Playing with my friends from my old band, Soulfisher! These guys were great to minister with! Don't get me wrong, I love the people I'm ministering with now, who are very very talented, but I just miss the guys that we rocked with for Jesus on the road. They taught me a lot! It was a phase in my Christian walk that I will never forget. I look back, and I realize that God used these guys in my life to help train me for what the Lord has for me now in the ministry. God bless you Soulfisher! And...God bless the wonderful people that I'm ministering with now! I love you all! I look a lot younger in the picture with my saxophone don't I?