Thursday, December 31, 2009

Great Pastors Retreat!

Thank you 1st Baptist of Worland, WY, for allowing us to enjoy a pastors retreat in Billings, MT last weekend with our wives. We really had a wonderful time as a staff to reflect,plan, joke, laugh, enjoy each other's company, and of course worship together.

On Saturday of last week, we all piled into a Suburban SUV (courtesy of Mike St. Clair, thank you Mike!) and drove off to Billings. Of course the ride was rowdy with conversation and with Pastor Shaun at the wheel. Mike, Shaun did take good care of your car! After we got to the hotel, The C'mon Inn, we relaxed a while next to the koi fish water ponds and waterfall in the lobby. It was off to take a stroll on the town after that. We also were able to enjoy a wonderful dinner as a staff at the Olive Garden. Then it was back to the hotel. Uno was a fun game to play at the tables next to the pond. We played until late....laughing just about the whole time.

The next morning, Sunday, we were up, got ready, had a nice breakfast at the hotel, and then we were off to worship together at the Harvest Church. What a huge congregation! But you know...we were all commenting after worship on how we really missed our congregation back at 1st "B". Of course...I'm not just saying this...I prefer our worship at 1st "B" too, not to mention Pastor Shaun's teaching. Worshiping away from our congregation did make us appreciate our home church even more! I can't wait to worship at 1st "B" again this Sunday, starting off the new year right!

After worship, we enjoyed a great burger in town down the street, a stretch from the church we went to. Then off course, we had to go to the mall, courtesy of the wives.

All in all, we had a wonderful relaxing retreat as a staff. I feel refreshed and ready to start the new year of worship to our Lord. I believe the Lord will bless 1st Baptist richly in 2010, and that we will see the Lord do great things. The staff is rejuvenated, and ready to serve. Thank you once again for the opportunity that you gave us after Christmas.

Thank you once again to the St. Clairs for allowing us to use their vehicle. It was very comfortable. Thank you, Dan Hart, for teaching in place of Pastor Shaun to allow him to get away. Thank you to the Craft family for taking over leading worship to allow a break for me.

I look forward to worshiping with you this new year. God bless you!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wonderful Christmas and Christmas Eve Service!

Hello everyone. I hope that all of you had a wonderful Christmas, celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ! I hope that Jesus was truly the reason for the season in your house.

As a family we really enjoyed each other's company in celebration. Besides opening presents, all of the Christmas lights, and all that is a part of Christmas, it was great to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and have a cake for Him too. It was truly a great Christmas time with our family and of course our church family at 1st Baptist.

If you were in attendance at our Christmas Eve Service, it was wonderful! The 1st Praise Christmas Choir brought worship for us in presenting "Light of the World"! The choir consisted of several of our congregation's members. It was an honor to bring praise to our Lord! Pastor Jess led us in the meaning of the advent candles as he, Heather, and little Kyston lit the candles in remembrance. Pastor Shaun brought a fantastic Christmas message. I don't know how a person could not accept and know Christ after hearing it! We then sang "Silent Night" as each of the 300+ in attendance raised our lit candles. We pray and hope that Christ was honored that evening.

I thank the Lord for blessing the Christmas Eve service. I also want to thank Wendy Compton for her ideas and assistance in "Light of the World". A special thanks goes out to Keith Compton for stepping up and narrating the Christmas story in the production. Hats off to Roger and Jane Pomeroy for organizing and feeding all the hungry musicians for the production as we prepared to serve in this Christmas cantata.

Blessings to all and have a wonderful New Year!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wow! Fridged Temperatures in Worland, WY!

Wow! I am truly amazed at how the temperatures and changes in our weather have happened so quickly! We have had some pretty frigid, icy, snowy weather hit us hard in Worland, WY! This morning I left the house with the temperature at -27 BELOW zero! It sure is different from the "sweatshirt" weather from just a week ago. The cold is early this year!

You know that it's cold when:

1) The hair in your nostrils crystallize when you breath.

2) Your mustache freezes with icicles when you are walking across campus at work at the boys' school.

3) The heater in your 1962/1965/1968 Volkswagen Bug starts to work (a little) when you get to work AFTER your commute.

4) The condensation from your breath freezes on the inside of your windshield as you are driving down the road and needs to be scraped.

5) You drive to work with layered clothing, an arctic jacket, gloves, etc.

6) The coffee pot is already empty before you arrive at work.

7) You about break your neck in the parking lot slipping on ice trying to reach warmth.

8) Your hands are burning when you take off your gloves to try to get your keys in or out of your front pocket.

9) Not a complete list....but just my experience today.

Hey.....I know that the temperatures are cold outside....however...let's remember to be warm hearted to one another with Christ's love. Winter is here even before the season actually begins! Please be careful! Here we go! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Welcome to December!

Wow! December already? I hope that all of you had a pleasant and joyful Thanksgiving. Now we turn to all the activities, programs, etc. of December. I just can't believe that the Christmas season is finally here....AND we really want to remember the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ!
First of all, I am pleased with the progress of the Christmas Eve Worship Service music at First Baptist. We have a good group of folks from our church that have been participating in our rehearsals each Sunday evening. We're not quite ready for the program, but I am very excited with the quick progress that we're making....and I know that the program will bring glory to God!

Student Ministries from First "B" will be heading out this Friday to Billings, Montana for "Acquire the Fire". The kids will be charged up with a challenge to share their faith in Christ and also enjoy being a part of worship with several bands. They will also get to see Sanctus Real in concert among other great Christian performers. My sons Caleb and Jacob are really excited about going this year. Me? I'm staying home this year to spend time with our youngest son, Josh. I will enjoy this time!

Speaking of the my family.....I can't believe we found our Christmas tree already this year. Last year was a goofy Christmas tree search. We were so busy with all the Christmas activities last year that Sandra and I never found the time to get a tree until the last minute. We ended up getting a very small artificial "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree. It was pretty pathetic looking. And then we got... Jess and Heather's "used" Christmas tree when they left to California for Christmas break. After all was said and done... I thought, "Number one.....the season is about Jesus! Then I remembered my own father was so poor that when his family celebrated Christmas in Texas, they cut down some sagebrush and then decorated it with aluminum foil...some from chewing gum wrappers!" You know....we all have so much to be thankful for. Remembering this really taught me a lesson.

This brings me to a conclusion...even though I could write a whole lot more. As we enter deeper into December and the Christmas season, let's not forget what Christmas is all about. We can get caught up in all of the hustle and bustle. We can get distracted by the decorations, commercialism, and even the fact that we may be struggling financially because of the economy. Ultimately...let's remember JESUS CHRIST...Son of God! Let's not take Christ out of Christmas! He came, born as the Christ child. He grew into manhood, spreading His Gospel message and performing miracles. He died on the cross for our sins! He was raised from the dead on the third day! Praise God! He's coming again!