Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Jesus is Our Prince of Peace!

Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

As I sit here at my desk wrapping up my day, I am listening to a beautiful Christmas CD with a fantastic combination of classical guitar and violin. The soft tones, melodies, and harmonies bring a calm to the end of my working day. It is so peaceful in my office, alone.

However, I am not alone. The Spirit of Christ is with me. He dwells within. Christ is truly my Prince of Peace. Any discouragement, any pain, any attack by the evil one, I know I can go to Jesus Christ. He truly is Wonderful, the Counselor. He is the Mighty God! Thank you Everlasting Father! Thank you for bringing peace into my life, Oh Prince of Peace!

During this Christmas season, Dear Lord. Help us not to forget, that you are with us. Help us not to forget the reason for the season! You were born to us, you died, and rose again! What a gift! Thank you for the gift of salvation! Thank you Lord and Savior! We praise and adore you!

Blessings as we draw closer to the celebration of Christ's birth.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Come and join us for "The Saints and Angel's Song"!

It's hard to believe how quickly this year has flown by. It's Christmas time once again! You know what that means? We look forward to worshipping together, on Christmas Eve.

This year, at First Baptist, we look forward to putting on a mini-production for Christmas called, "The Saints and Angel's Song". In addition to this production, we will be blessed to see and hear our children's choir sing a couple of Christmas favorites. This then will lead up to hearing God's word of the true meaning of Christmas, following by a candle lighting with a congregational sing.

We want to invite you for this special Christmas Eve Worship Celebration on December 24, 2010 at 6:00 p.m., here at First Baptist Church of Worland, Wyoming. Come early to find good seating! God bless you and Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Wow! First Baptist.....Thank you!

First of all I want to thank all of you for your special gifts yesterday. I appreciate all of you. It is my pleasure to serve the Lord in the capacity of Worship Minister for 1st Baptist Church of Worland. I was completely speechless when I was called down in front of the church to receive your appreciation along with my wife. You folks really made my day. I really couldn't do the job that I have been called to if it wasn't for the Lord. I also want to point out that my wife, Sandra, is so gracious in allowing me to serve in this way. Yes, worship ministries can take a lot of time and effort, but it is all worth it when we can all praise our Lord Jesus Christ together as one.

I would also like to thank Pastor Jess Rollema and his wife, Heather. Not only has Jess been teaching the youth as our Youth Pastor, but he has been picking up the slack in this time without a lead pastor. Keep him and his wife in your prayers.

Thank you for your encouragement, your prayers, and support as we work for Jesus Christ. He is our only hope. He is our life. He is our salvation. We look forward to continue in service with you. God bless you First Baptist Church.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Appendix Adventure and Thanks!

Wow! What a month of September and into October! What am I talking about? Who would have thought that after worship team practice, on a Thursday night in early September, I would have to go to the emergency room to get my appendix taken out? Not a very pleasant experience.

I knew that I felt really tired that day. So much so that I wasn't sure if I had the energy to conduct worship team practice. I went anyway and set up everything for the rehearsal. After prayer time with the team, I made my way home, had a late dinner...relaxed with my family for a little while and then went to bed.

At about 10:00 pm I started to have pain in the lower right abdominal area. I thought... maybe I just ate my enchilada dinner too late? At 1:00 am in the morning when I was trying to alleviate the pain by taking a hot bath...I had a feeling it wasn't the enchiladas. At about 2:00 am I found myself trying to crawl back to bed in pain. After going through the medical books with my wife...I finally had to tell her, "Take me into the hospital!"

The Worland Hospital's staff was incredible and very helpful, and by 8:00 am, Friday, I was having surgery. It was a very long process in the recovery afterward. I'm thankful to Dr. Weaver that he caught the appendix right before it burst. He told me that I was one sick boy.

So...what did God teach me this time? To be thankful to Him. To be thankful for a wonderful caring wife. To be thankful that we have loving and caring people in our church that are willing to step up when you are in need. To slow down....in my time of need.

Thanks goes out to the following: My God for being my strength and Healer. My wife and family for helping with everything until I recovered.....Roger Pomeroy for taking care of worship along with the rest of the worship team in my absence....The youth in worship ministries on Wednesdays covering for me....My boss, Steve Wake, for helping me to get coverage during my absence at the Wyoming Boys' School....all the prayers, visitations, and cards from all of the people, especially from First Baptist Church.
God bless you for all of your help, patience, and prayers. We serve a Mighty God, and I am so glad to be back.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Great Chamber Barbecue! Go Warriors!

We had a wonderful time as a family, getting out of the house, and going down to the Worland Community Complex for the annual Chamber Customer Appreciation Barbecue- 2010. This is something I look forward to each and every year! Instead of being on the grass in front of the Washakie County Courthouse this year, it was held at the WCC for the first time. There was a lot more room for Worland citizens to sit and enjoy a hot served meal by chamber members which included, juicy hot roast beef sandwiches, great hot dogs, tasty potato salad, thirst quenching Pepsi products (of course!), and sweet desserts.
As we enjoyed laughing and visiting with family and friends, and eating our meals on the sidelines of the youth football field, the athletic directors, coaches, and teachers, introduced our student athletes and band members from Worland High School. Of course, the Worland High School Marching Band played a few tunes for us too. It is always a proud moment for us parents as our Worland kids are introduced to the community. I was also thankful that the sound system was adequate for all to hear the announcements; it is usually difficult to hear when you have over half of the town present. I was also thankful that most of the little kids, including my youngest son, had plenty of room to run around and play, especially in the playground area across the street at Sander's Park.

Thanks Worland-Ten Sleep Chamber for having this event each year. I look forward to meeting and greeting our friends and family each year at this event, kicking off the new school year, including all the athletic events. Thanks for supporting our kids! Thanks for the good food! Thanks for making our community a safe place to raise kids!.....and GO WORLAND WARRIORS!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lord, please direct the paths of our children!

Proverbs 3:6 "In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths."

This is the first day of school for our children in Worland, Wyoming, and not just my children, but the children of our community. Let us, as Christian parents, pray for the well being and direction of our kids. Let us pray that our kids will acknowledge the Lord in all that they do in worship, because we want to see the Lord direct their paths. My prayer is that they will make good godly choices in every activity in class, in sports, and in travel; before, during, and after school. My they be the "salt of the earth" before their peers!

I pray that people who see them will see a glimpse of Jesus Christ Himself by the Holy Spirit. We all know the worldly influences that are out there. I pray that our children will stand firm in their faith in Jesus Christ.

Paul writes in Philippians 1:27-28a, "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you."

Our kids do face opposition to their faith, whether we realize it or not. My prayer is that they too will have opportunities to share their faith in Jesus Christ and invite fellow classmates to church. I also pray that our youth ministries will continue to grow, discipling our young people. I pray that God will bless Pastor Jess Rollema, his wife Heather, and the rest of the First Baptist Student Ministries Team in this new school year, 2010-2011.

Kids, have a great year at school and all the activities that are involved with it. Parents, may God give you peace as you send them off. Be actively involved in their education...remember the TRUTH has been revealed to us! It is our responsibility as Christian parents to raise our kids, not the schools.
Have a safe and blessed school year!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Shout to the Lord!

Psalm 98:4 "Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises."

Thank you for allowing my family and I to lead singing and praises in worship at the Nowoodstock Music Festival in Ten Sleep, Wyoming yesterday morning. I was approached by Frank and Vicki Ley earlier this summer and asked if I would be willing to lead a short worship service at the festival. We are so glad that we did. My sons Caleb Garza and Jacob Garza, and also, Hannah Compton joined me as we drove to the festival, getting there at 8:00 am.

After an extensive setup and practice, we started singing worship music and sharing scripture at 10:00 to 10:30 am. Thank you Lord for allowing us to lift up your Name! You are the Creator of music, and how fitting it was to lift You up at the beginning of the day on Sunday at the festival! I was blessed to see many folks clapping and singing to the music about our Lord Jesus Christ. All glory goes to the Lord! I was also able to speak to several of the people afterward. We hope to partner with them and start an outreach using praise music in the future.

A big thank you goes to Roger Pomeroy for leading worship yesterday at 1st Baptist, filling in in my absence. We are blessed to have Roger on our worship team. He is a good man of God!

Thank you Frank and Vicki (Shaffer) Ley for providing the invitation and clearance to be able to lead the worship service. Congratulations on your new marriage! May God richly bless you!

A special thank you to Hannah Compton for all of your extra help setting up equipment, tearing down, taking pictures, and your sense of humor!

Finally and getting all of the credit, once again. Thanks again Lord for this event. We were truly blessed by it. We pray that you were also blessed and glorified.

I pray that You will continue to allow us to "shout joyfully to the Lord"! Amen.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Husbands Love Your Wives!

Ephesians 5:25 "Husbands love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her"

This is so important, men. Do we really understand the importance of this in marriage? Do we really understand how much we are to love our wives? Christ demonstrated his love towards us even by giving His life. Here in Ephesians we are to love our wives by Christ's example. This verse tells me that I need to give 100% in my marriage. It's not a 50/50 compromise. Marriage is not for just what "I" get out of it.

Marriage is not something that we do one time in a ceremony and then put it on a shelf somewhere. We need to build our marriages and nurture them in the Lord each and every day. No matter how busy our schedules get, it is important to spend time with our spouses.
Lord, thank you so much for my beautiful wife, Sandra. She means so much to me. Life would be pretty tough without her. I thank you that she is also a believer in Christ. How special that is! Help me never to forget our vows that we took so many years ago. I thank you for the 20 years of marriage that we will celebrate this Thursday, August 5, 2010. Wow! August 5, 1990 seems just like yesterday!

I was so glad that we could spend some time together over the weekend. It was great being able to take her and the family to Mexican food over the weekend in Thermopolis, Wyoming to Las Fuentas. We were also able to do some shopping, which she enjoys, even if we don't spend any money. After church on Sunday, it was nice to just be able to talk and then watch a movie together later. Although, I need to work on talking and communicating a whole lot more.

Lord, please bless our marriage and the other marriages of your people. Protect our marriages, dear God. Grant us the ability to follow and listen to the Holy Spirit as we work on our marriages. You are a Holy and just God. Please grant us peace, love, and safe keeping. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Dark Dreadful Place!

Psalm 119:105 "Your word [is] a lamp to my feet And a light to my path."

I will never forget, back in 1981, my father took us on a road trip to visit our family in southern Texas. On our way back home, we went by way of Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, seeing one of the largest underground caverns in the world. I enjoyed the underground hiking trails and the automated speaker phones, explaining the various limestone formations. "Stalactites" and "stalagmites" quickly became a part of my vocabulary as I gazed at the wonders of it all.

We decided to follow a guided tour by a National Park Ranger who led us down elevators, twists and turns, pointing out scenic passageways,etc. At one point, the ranger gathered us all around in a group and warned us that it was soon going to get very dark in the underground, man-made lit cavern. He then proceeded to turn out the lights while continuing to speak to us. The lights went out.....and I've never been in such a physical darkened place in all of my life. He asked us to put our very own hands in front of our faces and asked if we could see anything. It was so dark that I could NOT see a thing, even with my hand right in front of my nose, total darkness! Without any light, the cavern could be a very dangerous, dark, dreadful place, with not a chance of escaping.

I think of how non-Christians are in a very dangerous, dark, and dreadful place.......but with only ONE chance of escaping sin and death. That one and only chance of escape is not chance at all, but the submitting of one's heart to the one and true God, Jesus Christ. As Christians, we were once in sin's grasp, in total darkness, and destined to total darkness and destruction, being eternally separated from the LIGHT, God's presence. Pray that we would be able to tell others, by His Spirit, and speak of His truths.

If you are not a Christian, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ that He is God's one and only Son, that he was raised from the grave on the third day after dying on the cross for our sins. Jesus is alive and well! Do this and you will be saved and live eternally with Him when you die.

I thank God that He allowed me to escape total darkness and that I am walking in the light. I am a believer of Jesus Christ, God's one and only Son! I also thank Him for His word, that it is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path! I read His word ,and He reveals our lives to us much like when the ranger finally led us along the path with a flashlight after being in such intense darkness. I want to live my life step by step in Him...in the light!

1 John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Random Thoughts Ending the Week!

Wow! What a week. It all seems to be a blur. I am sure that a lot of you can relate. Here are the top 10 things that come to my mind randomly at this time.

1) Lord, thank you for a good productive week in the ministry. We had a good rehearsal Thursday night, and we can't wait to sing praises to you with the rest of the congregation this Sunday.

2) We are gearing up to hear what Pastor Shaun Matako and his wife Jodi have to say to our congregation at First Baptist, via Skype this Sunday morning. We are looking for a quorum for July 25th, for a vote to see if they will be called to pastor our church. Please keep this in prayer.

3) I have enjoyed a time of Bible study with our friends and church members, Vicki and Frank.

4) Thank you for what you have been teaching me, Lord, about living and worshiping you in obedience. Thank you for showing me from the book of Ecclesiastes, that life without you is meaningless!

5) I love my wife, Sandra, with all of my heart. When I was really sick with vertigo, Wednesday night, she really helped me get through it. The Lord shows me more and more how much she cares for me. I love and care for her too.

6) Worland Babe Ruth Baseball is winding down this summer. My son, Jacob, has played catcher and pitches for the All-Star team playing in this weekend's district tournament. Good luck to all of our ball players. Play hard, and may the best team win!

7) Our Pembroke Welsh Corgi (dog) had puppies, six of them, a week ago. We are receiving so many phone calls about them already. We hope to sell them, when they are old enough, to help Jacob get his braces.

8) Hopefully my wife and I will be able to get some yard work and gardening done over the weekend. Being gone a lot can take a toll on us trying to catch up on "whacking down the jungle"! At least I don't need to use a machete.

9) It was great having some of our family from California staying with us and visiting. I enjoyed the walks, talks, barbecues, and laughter around the house. I especially enjoyed the visit to the mountains, picnicking and fishing!

10) The Wyoming Boys' School ministry team was invited by the WBS superintendent for an appreciation barbecue for all of those involved in connection with this institution. It is an honor to be a part of it. Thank you, Lord, for allowing this open door of ministry throughout the year for the boys that are incarcerated.

I hope that you all have a great weekend. I hope to see some of you soon. God bless you!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Worship in Obedience!

A lot of people think that worship is just singing songs on Sunday mornings during a "worship" service. Unfortunately even some mainstream Christian artists give the impression that worship is just singing. This simply is just not true. Worshiping our Lord is how we live our lives in obedience to Him. Yes, giving of our tithes, offerings, service, studying God's word, listening and the application of the teaching of God's word, etc. are all acts of worship, but it is in our total walk and reliance in the Lord, led by the Holy Spirit, that we call true worship of our Lord. Let me add that it isn't just on Sundays either. It's each and every day.

We love Him by our obedience to His Word and by the direction of the Holy Spirit. We are to obey His commands. When we do this, we show that we love Him in loving worship. On top of that, the great thing is that our faith is the victory that overcomes the world:

1 John 5:3&4 "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith."

The Lord gives us life. We want to constantly be in worship for Him. Without Him we can do nothing!

John 15:5 "I am the vine, you [are] the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."

We want to know Him, and know Him more! We want Him living in us. How do we know that He is living in us? By the Spirit!

1 John 3:24 "Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us."

Let's read God's word. Let's pray each day. Let's fellowship with Him and each other. Let's serve Him. Let's give to Him. Let's live in obedience. Let's worship!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fun 4th of July for the Garza's!

What a fun time for us this last 4th of July weekend. I just wanted to write down the "goings on". I was so thankful to get a day off making it a three day weekend in order for us, as a family, to be able to spend time together. Here is a list of things we did this last weekend:

1) We got up early on Saturday morning and drove to Cody, Wyoming to see the Cody 4th of July Parade. It was very entertaining to see all of the horses, cars, floats, marching bands, etc. A highlight was seeing the Wyoming State Marching Band. I was excited to see so many kids from First Baptist Church represented in the band. I hope I didn't miss any of them, but congratulations in a performance well done to: Hannah Compton, Garrett Compton, Marshall Blom, Joe Mitchell, Shailee Michaels, and Mikala Michaels. There may have been more, but I didn't see them. Wow! Great job!

2) Enjoying a time of cruising over to McDonalds and then to Wally World (Walmart) in Cody was fun.

3) Sunday morning we got down to the church early, getting ready to worship with our First Baptist Church family. It was wonderful, once again, to sing songs of praise and learn from God's word.

4) Then it was time to go home, eat left-overs, and then get a short time of napping in before the evening festivities with family.

5) We headed over to Sandra's parents ranch in Manderson for dinner and fireworks! Cousins from California joined in on the fun with food, laughter, and fireworks!

6) All the members in the family chipped in for fireworks with, by far, the most fun display I have ever been to. We even had a few sky rockets fall over before takeoff and coming right at us! One blew up right at my feet as I leaped to the left as fast as I could. I should have been on America's Funniest Videos! And then came Pastor Jess Rollema's FINALE! Great job Jess! You outdid yourself! We as spectators lived to tell about it once again! HIGHLY EXPLOSIVE!

7) Our cousins from California, the Randalls, stayed the night at our house Sunday night in preparation for the next morning, Monday the 5th of July. The kids all played and talked until the wee hours of the night....about 1:00 a.m. in the morning. I'm still exhausted from trying to get some sleep.

8) On Monday morning Sandra and I got up at 6:30 in the morning to get all of the farm chores done, letting everybody else sleep in. We then got quick breakfasts and got ready to head up to the Big Horn Mountains for a Subway picnic lunch and fishing at West Ten Sleep Lake and Creek.

9) After driving up the West Ten Sleep Lake, we had a great Subway sandwich, chips, cookies, fruit salad, and pop. We then headed toward the lake with fishing poles in hand, gear, and bait. Fishing was a great time, especially helping our youngest son Josh break in his brand new fishing pole that he purchased a few days ago. With the combined efforts, all the family caught fish, including brookies from the creek. Fun! Fun! Fun!

10) We then headed back to our house, ordered Pizza Hut pizza, and had a big family chow-down meal. The boys then played the Wii video games, then did some more fishing in the canoe at the Worland Pond, and finally ended up playing on the trampoline back at our house until dark. The adults enjoyed conversation and trying to keep up with the little ones.

All-in-all, it was a great 4th of July celebration! We had a great time. Lord, thank you for the wonderful time with family. Thank you for the freedom that we have. Help us to remember that freedom isn't free. Thank you for our troops that fight for our freedoms in America too. God bless America.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Dear Lord...remember us. Bless the USA.

Dear Lord,

You are my Lord and my God. My prayer is that you continue to bless the United States of America. I realize that the entire country has not been obedient in worship to You. However, I know that many of us still worship you in obedience. We are Christians first and Americans second. Lord, I am proud to be an American...but first and foremost I am a child of Yours, dear God.

I am proud of my American heritage, and I know that our country was established on the foundation of Your truths. Our founding fathers built this country recognizing You, and trusting in You. However, even in my lifetime, I have seen many changes in America that I am not proud of. It is seemingly getting worse as time progresses, corruption in our government, lies, murder, stealing, murder with abortion, rape, sexual impurity,..the list goes on and on. I know this is a sinful world. Dear Lord, I know that the time will come when you return...and I want that to happen, and I know that your word does say that it will happen.....

At the same time, I pray for hope for our country...to be able to rise up once again as truly one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Lord, your word says this in 2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning [His] promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."

I believe this is exactly what our nation needs to do...our nation needs to repent. I don't want to see anyone perish, dear Lord. Give us the strength, determination, knowledge and wisdom, as Christians and guided by the Holy Spirit, to be used by You to help others receive Jesus Christ, and repent. I pray that there will be a true revival across our lands.

God, please bless America as you have done in the past. Lord, I came across this verse earlier today from the Old Testament:
Exodus 32:9 "And the LORD said to Moses, "I have seen this people, and indeed it [is] a stiff-necked people!"

Often times I see our nation of The United States of America being "stiff-necked", looking in the wrong direction. Loosen our necks, Lord, that we may look to you, seeking Your face.

God, I want this verse to be my prayer for America, much like in Exodus 34:9 "Then he said, 'If now I have found grace in Your sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray, go among us, even though we [are] a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us as Your inheritance.'"

God Bless America, Lord. God Bless America.

In Jesus' Name,

Monday, June 28, 2010

Keep the WBS in Your Prayers!

Acts 16:25- "But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them."

Not by any means is the Wyoming Boys' School ministry team from First Baptist locked up and bound as Paul and Silas were, but God has allowed us to worship with the young men at the WBS in prayer, singing, and teaching every 4th Sunday of each month. The team consists of several members of our church body: Steve Craft, Nic Craft, Kaleb Craft, Caleb Garza, Ben McMillan, and myself, Jeff Garza.

God has allowed this ministry to be strong, led by the Holy Spirit for almost 3 years now. The worship consists of a time of sharing personal testimonies with the boys, singing praise songs, prayer, and the teaching of God's Word. Ben McMillan has been doing a wonderful job teaching each time we go out to the WBS and clearly presenting the gospel message.

If you find it in your heart to pray for the young men at the Wyoming Boys' School, we would appreciate it. I shared this passage of scripture at "Praise In the Park" recently:
Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it."

A lot of these young men have never even heard of the truth about Jesus Christ. They have not been trained up in the way they should go. It is our responsibility to present the gospel, teach them, and make sure they have the opportunity for discipleship. Our prayers would be that they would receive Jesus Christ as their Savior, read God's word, and be trained up to not depart from the truth. Will you join us in our prayers?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Blessed by "Praise In the Park"!

I just had to write and tell about how "Praise in the Park" went. It all started with the raising of a tent in Sander's Park, just in case of thunder clouds coming around and dropping rain on us. Some of First Praise and elders helped in the efforts of staking up all the posts and ropes early in the morning, Saturday, June 19th. Steve and Sally Craft made all of the arrangements of getting us the tent, and we found that we did need it later in the day.

First Praise then met down at the church at 1:00 pm and even earlier to load up all of the equipment into trucks and hauled everything down to Sander's Park. Almost every wire, monitor, mic, stand, speaker, both upstairs and downstairs that the Lord owns was loaded up and taken down to the park. Thanks Pastor Jess Rollema, for lending us a hand as we hauled all the portable equipment. Thanks also for making all of the main sound equipment even more portable over the last several days. It really worked out well.

When we got down to Sander's Park, there were already set up, two large flat-bed trailers to be used for the praise band to be set up for worship. I am really proud of the team for their efforts setting up all of the sound equipment. It took about two hours to get everything set up before our sound check at 3:00. Everyone stepped up and helped. It was great.

The whole time we were setting up, we were keeping an eye on a very dark thunder cloud coming our way. We even saw some lightning coming down out of it. We had been praying for great weather for a long time for this event. Right at 4:00 pm when we were going to start, the large black cloud went over us....the sun started shining and it rained even with sunshine at the beginning of worship....but we were able to continue and it turned out to be beautiful weather for the rest of the evening.

We were able to praise and worship Jesus Christ with several families sitting is various locations, under trees, under the tent, on the grass, in lawn chairs. First Praise was able to lead worship for an hour. Then Ben McMillan gave his testimony and about his involvement with the Wyoming Boys' School ministry. The WBS ministry team then led worship for an hour. We were blessed, and I hope that the Lord was too. After that Caleb Garza, Kaleb Craft, and Nic Craft did a wonderful job leading with special music!!! Thanks guys for letting me play saxophone with you! It was fun!

Continuing in worship, Interim Pastor Dale Bascue gave a very good message of our Lord. When he was done, people from out of nowhere came to praise and worship as we were getting ready to wrap up the evening......but God had another plan. We were able to worship and sing praises for another 1/2 hour.

Thanks to all of the people that helped tear down and take things back to the church. You guys were great! It made this event for the Lord SO much easier!

We were truly blessed with the evening of worship. Jesus gets the spotlight though. We praise Him alone. We look forward to doing this again soon.

A big thank you of course goes to God. We would also like to thank Steve and Sally Craft for all of their help setting up the event, of course the other members of the worship ministry team, Brent and Becci Kalfell, the hospitality team, and of course your prayers. God bless you!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Successful Practice!

Wow! What a busy Thursday night that First Praise had! We are gearing up for the worship event, "Praise in the Park", that we are holding tomorrow at Sander's Park from 4-7 pm. The event will be a great time to lift up the name of the Lord together in praise and worship. We then are looking forward to hearing Pastor Dale Bascue bring a message from the word.

The team worked hard last night, putting together about two hours worth of music. The first set will feature the Sunday morning worship team, which will lead the congregation with familiar praise songs and a few hymns. The second set will feature the Wyoming Boy's School Ministry Team, which will be kicked off with a testimony by our own Ben McMillan.

The third set is actually some special music, featuring a few of our youth that have been very instrumental in the ministry, Caleb Garza, Kaleb Craft, and Nic Craft. You might even see a saxophone player in their set. All in all the teams are set to praise our Lord Jesus Christ right along with you. We hope that you will be able to join us.

The weather looks like it will be great for "Praise in the Park". Please pray that all will go well. We are planning on having a very large "revival" type tent set up, just in case the weather turns. Bring plenty of sun-screen just in case....and it wouldn't be a bad idea to be armed against mosquitoes.

If you would like to help set up and haul equipment from the church to Sander's Park, the effort will begin at 1:00 pm., tomorrow, June 19th, down at First Baptist. The praise band is planning on having the starting of a sound check at 2:30 pm, so there will be lots to do.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Praying for Sunshine!

I am sooooo thankful for the bright sunshine here in Worland, Wyoming.....at least in between storms! As many already know, we have had record rainfall and snow melting at the same time, causing a tremendous amount of flooding in the State of Wyoming. Please keep the people, especially in the Hudson and Lander, Wyoming areas in your prayers. They have had to deal with a lot of water and destruction.

We have had a couple of days now, that have been absolutely gorgeous....and then....just like right now....as I write this, there is a huge black cloud coming our way. We are praying that the good weather will come our way and stay, especially for our praise event, "Praise in the Park", set for this Saturday, June 19th, from 4-7 pm at Sander's Park.

Anyway...I am actually excited and hope that I will be able to mow my lawn and do some yard work, to catch up with all of the GREEN growing around my place. I am also excited for my sons, that they will be able to play on dry baseball fields if we get more sunshine.

The summer has been the coolest in temperature that I can remember in Worland. I even witnessed some snow flurries going over Powder River Pass going to Buffalo, Wyoming a couple of weekends ago. Wearing jackets and sweatshirts in June has sure been different! I still chuckle about the goofy argument about global warming!

Anyway....I hope all of you are doing well. God bless you and enjoy the weather.....rainy or sunny! Remember....God is in control!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Hosanna! Praise and Worship!

This is just a report on how worship is going at First Baptist Church. I am excited with the direction that First Praise is taking. I continue to pray that our unity will continue in leading worship with our congregation. We strive to keep Christ our primary focus at all times. Eternity with Christ is our prize...and we strive to please our Lord and Savior.
As you may have witnessed, we introduced a new song again this month called, "Hosanna". You can hear a sample of the original version on my playlist below. Right now it is the last song on the playlist by Hillsong. I am so proud of Wendy Compton, Ben McMillan, and Kaleb Craft for their over the top contribution to learning this new song. I love the drum part that Ben played. Wendy did great singing the lead on the song. And.... Wow! I hope you liked the guitar solo that Kaleb Craft did! We look forward to playing this song again next week.
I am so pleased with the blessings that the Lord has poured out upon the worship at First Baptist. So far the blended service of traditional and contemporary worship music is working out well. Our goal this year has been to learn at least one song a month to teach the congregation. So far we have been able to meet that goal. I hope that this will continue on.
In a couple of weeks on Saturday, June 19th, we look forward to worshiping with you further at the event, "Praise in the Park" from 4-7 pm at Sander's Park. The Worship Ministries Team has been meeting regularly working towards making this event for the Lord a special one. Read further below in my blog about "Praise in the Park" on what to bring.
Please keep worship ministries in prayer. We want to serve the Lord diligently by the word of truth!
2 Timothy 2:15 "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

Friday, June 4, 2010

Reasons I Love Baseball!

I know that many people are disappointed that there is no longer a Legion Baseball Team in Worland, Wyoming. I for one would love to see the team get built back up again. I just wish it would get built back up in time for all of my sons to be able to participate. I am not sure that my oldest son, Caleb, will get to play anytime soon though. With that aside, I still love the game of baseball, and I'm glad that my son, Jacob, is playing Babe Ruth and my youngest son, Joshua, is playing Little League. Here is a list of reasons why I love the game:

1) Practicing with my boys in the big side yard when I can.

2) Seeing my boys excited to get to practice with the team and telling me afterwards how well they did with the red clay soil all over them. I'm not sure their mom likes that part.

3) I love traveling with the boys to other towns in Rusty the Bug, especially for night games with lights.

4) I love seeing the boys improve their game throughout the season.

5) Seeing games going into the final innings as "nail-biters" and seeing the boys win!

6) Great defense and offense played by both teams, especially when I see my boys both playing catcher and throwing the runner out at second! Yee haa! I don't always like seeing the Home Run either. To me... it's all about the strategy of scoring!

7) I love sitting in the stands with family and friends... talking about the game and everything else...you know the game is America's Pastime.

8) Baseball games are great excuses to drink pop, eat popcorn, eat hot dogs, and spit sunflower seeds. Usually I feel like my lips are turning inside out after all of the sunflower seeds I eat and spit during a game.

9) I love it when the opposing team has a great player hit a "long ball" and one of our teams' players catches the ball making the other team gasp for air.

10) Home games during the week to relax with, as cheap evening entertainment!

These are just some of the things I love about the game. I just thank God that He allowed someone to invent the game for all of us to enjoy.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Nice Get-a-way!

I know that it's already mid-week, but I was just thinking about the wonderful time that my wife and I had last weekend, Friday and Saturday. It isn't often enough that Sandra and I get a chance to get away and spend some good quality time together. This time she and I decided that we wanted to go exploring in Casper, Wyoming. I know of nice places to eat and places to see in Casper due to the State of Wyoming sending me there for conventions all of the time.

First of all...."Thank you" to our boys for staying at home and taking care of all of the chores. We are blessed that our boys are old enough to take care of all of the animals, and making sure that things are okay while we are gone.

Well...Sandra and I enjoy having Chinese food, so we were able to have a great buffet at a place called the Dragon Wall. The place isn't that fancy by the looks of it on the outside, but the inside is nice with lots of choices of Chinese cuisine. Yum! I can't wait to get more egg rolls! Good food. Good visit.

After a peaceful night's rest, we got up early and had a mouth watering breakfast at the hotel's restaurant, eggs, sausage, pancakes, etc. It's not very often that I get a full breakfast, because I'm always on the go. Good food. Good visit.

After breakfast, Sandra and I decided that we wanted to look at home improvement items, so that's when we then discovered....Menard's. Have you seen that place??? If you are looking for that hard to find item...look no more. They have everything!...lighting, lumber, tools, showers, tubs, clothes, plants, doors.......We spent about 3 hours in that place. It makes Lowe's and Home Depot look puny. We can't wait to go back.

Of course Sandra and I did a lot of walking and talking throughout Walmart and other places, but then it was on to lunch. One of my favorite places, and she'll agree with me now, is Sanford's. Great food with a Cajun flare! The other great part of the restaurant is seeing all the nostalgic collections they have on walls, hanging from the ceiling....you name it..you may find it there. Lot's of old motorcycles, gas pumps, tin signs, hanging airplanes, tricycles, bikes, neon signs, etc., all done up from the 1930's, 40's, and 50's. Great family atmosphere, along with good food. Good food. Good visit.

All in all, Sandra and I had a great time to talk, reflect, and just spend some good sharing time together. I am very thankful for my wife. She is so special to me. I thank God for her very much. The Word of God tells us that we are to love our wives as Christ loves the church....knowing that, we all need to spend quality time with our spouses.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Praise in the Park!

I would like to invite you to be a part of an event that we are calling "Praise in the Park". On June 19, 2010, "First Praise" of Worland First Baptist Church will be hosting this praise event for our Lord. "Praise in the Park" will be held at Sander's Park from 4-7 pm. Our focus will be to praise and worship our Lord Jesus Christ. Our interim pastor, Pastor Dale Bascue, will be bringing us a message after our time in worship and singing. Please remember to bring the following to the event:

1) Bring your family and friends, especially those that may not be saved.

2) Bring your Bibles for the message, and voices to sing praises.

3) Bring a picnic dinner for your individual family and friends (Beverages will be provided.)

4) Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, sunscreen.... normal stuff you would take to a picnic.

5) Children, bring your favorite park entertainment: football, frisbee, baseball mitts, etc.

We at First Baptist hope that you will be a part of this event. We pray that you will be blessed and that the Lord over all will be blessed. We look forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Congratulations to All Graduates!

It's been 25 years since I graduated from high school. Okay....you can do the math! Anyway, I want to extend my warmest congratulations to all of the graduates this year. It is so hard to believe that the school year has gone by so quickly! Congratulations Class of 2010!
In my own family, my son Jacob, will be graduating from 8th grade tonight from the middle school. He is looking forward to high school next year as a freshman.

I am looking forward to having both a freshman and senior at Worland High School next year. I am so excited especially for all the high school games, namely football! Wow! Varsity football on Friday nights and Freshman football on Saturdays!
To all our graduates....my God richly bless you! Be safe and trust in the Lord!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Where is this year going?

I sit here just wondering where the year has gone. It is so hard to believe that we are now in the month of May. There have been so many things going on, including changes. Here are 10 thoughts that come to mind:

1) God is still with us. He never changes!!!!!

2) We are gathering the search committee together, and praying that the Lord will show us the right pastor with the right fit for First "B" to be revealed to us soon.

3) The ending of another school year is now quickly approaching. My son Caleb will be a senior next year. Jacob will be a freshman. Joshua will be in his last year of elementary school as a 5th grader. Sandra will be glad to end her school year of swimming all year. Me? I will be ending my 20th year of teaching. God is so good!!!

4) It so good to see green grass growing again. Not the dandelions though! I hope I can get my sprinklers working again correctly. Winter can really be harsh on them, even after blowing them out with a compressor! Almost ready to plant some flowers with Sandra too. I will be planting trees today.

5) Baby goats and baby lamb are finally starting to get weaned, almost ready for sale.

6) Baseball season is starting up in Worland again. My boys are gearing up! I just wish we had Legion ball for Caleb. He may do some umpiring. I can't wait for the crack of the bat, ground in clay in the uniforms, yelling for the team......spitting sunflower seeds and drinking pop during the games.

7) Time to rototill and prepare for planting the garden.

8) It's about time that I get my fishing license. I can't wait to start slaying the trout again!

9) I hope to get out a lot more and get some more exercise. The weather is starting to warm up slowly...just can't wait to see more 70 degree weather. It's the best in Wyoming!

10) I hope to do more exploring in the mountains....The Big Horns with the family!

Well spring is here....with summer right around the corner! Thank you Lord. We'll see what tomorrow brings!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thank You Pastor Shaun and Jodi Matako!

Well...it has been a great five years that Pastor Shaun and Jodi Matako have spent with us in Worland, Wyoming at First Baptist. We will truly miss Shaun and Jodi as they depart from Worland, and return to Ohio.

I am very fortunate and thankful that I have had the privilege to work side-by-side with Shaun and Jodi in ministry, and that my wife, Sandra, has had the opportunity to work with Jodi in children's ministry. We were and still are truly blessed by them. We love you, and thank you for all that you did in our church, our community, and our lives, all in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I know that we are deeply saddened by the fact that Shaun and Jodi had to leave Worland, but I know that the Lord has new things in store for them. They are leaving Worland in tremendous standing. I venture to imagine that the Lord is already saying, "Well done faithful servants," about Shaun and Jodi's work in Worland.

Shaun, we love you like a brother, and Jodi like a sister. Please keep in touch. We would love to see you again in the future. I do know this...we will see you Heaven!

Okay Shaun.....and Jodi you are a part of this too! Thanks for the following and then some:

1) Your faithfulness to Christ.

2) Teaching and mentoring me about Christ.

3) Your support of Worship Ministries.

4) All that you did to help us to grow in God's Word.

5) Your support of all ministries.

6) Your support of the Worland community and it's families.

7) Your involvement with youth sports of all ages.

8) Football! Football! Football!

9) A better appreciation of Ohio State Buckeyes.

10) Baseball!

11) The Warriors!

12) Announcing!

13) The chain gang!

14) Football games in person or at your house!

15) Great Football FOOD while following the game!

16) Fantasy Football!....well, "I" have good memories anyway;-)

17) Laughing so hard (especially about inside jokes-i.e. "shrapnel") that I thought my head and gut were going to explode.

18) Seeing you laugh so hard you turn purple!

19) Making fun of my VW Bug, Rusty.

20) Offering me a can opener.

21) The birthday EXPLOSION!

22)............The list could go on and on!

Thank you, my brother and friend. Thank you, my sister Jodi. We love you guys. You will always have a special place in our hearts. Until we meet again. So long. My God richly bless you. You will be in our prayers.

From my family to yours,

Jeff, Sandra, Caleb, Jacob, and Joshua Garza

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thankfulness in a Septic Situation!

Praise God that it turned out not as bad as we had originally thought. The first prognosis was that our septic tank went bad with it's baffles and that our whole leach field would have to be replaced. My wife and I immediately started praying. This can be a huge financial burden on anyone.
I am so thankful for my neighbors Ed and Janine Barnes. Ed suggested that he take his back-hoe and help me dig down to the leach pipe at the septic tank and see if we could find the problem. After digging down, we discovered that right at the septic tank, an iron pipe had broken and caused a blockage before reaching the leach field, at what looks to have saved thousands of dollars $$$ by finding the problem! Thank you Ed and also to your boy, Ben.
After getting our tank pumped, I am also thankful for Jeremy Carver, for being available to come out and help recover and fix our problem, including fixing a new baffle for the tank. He is a very hard worker and is very good at what he does as a plumber! He is very highly recommended in my book!
Thank you God for taking care of us. This situation could have been a whole lot worse. Jeremy told me that this was a blessing in disguise by catching it the way that we did. It wasn't luck, chance, or coincidence. I believe that God had His hand in this dilemma. Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness. I trust in You!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Blessed Easter!

I pray that all of you had a wonderful and blessed Easter to celebrate our Risen Savior, Jesus Christ. At First Baptist Church of Worland, we were able to have a wonderful Good Friday service with a time of intimate worship, communion, and message. Of course on Easter Sunday, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ! He is risen! He has risen indeed!

I am so thankful that my family and I were able to spend time in celebration of Easter with both my wife Sandra's family here in Wyoming, and my visiting family from Idaho. We not only got to worship together, but we were able to have some fun activities together. Here are some of the things that I am thankful that we could do:

1) Brunch at the Bennett Ranch- (Sandra's folk's)

2) Easter Egg Hunt for all the little kids- ( I love hiding all of eggs...This year some of us were eating the eggs as we were hiding them...and we were losing count of them!)

3) Of course we had to keep our tradition going at the Garza house by putting together a scavenger hunt to find the Easter baskets. My little Josh never let's us get through an Easter without the tradition.

4) I was able to spend some time with my mother and her husband Larry. A highlight was introducing them to Butch's Place. It was great food!

5) I was thankful that I was able to take Monday and Tuesday off from my day job, teaching at the Wyoming Boys' School. With that time I was able to spend some more time with Mom and Larry. We worked on projects around the house. Larry likes to keep himself busy...and he kept me busy catching up on household odds and ins.

All-in-all it was a great Easter. Even with the family fun, I'm glad that we were able to keep Christ as the center and focus of the Easter weekend. I pray that you were able to do the same.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Come Lord Come!

James 5:7-8 "Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near."

As many of us have heard or witnessed, we are faced with difficult times in the United States. Many of us are saying or at least thinking, "What in the world is going on with the decisions that are being made for the American people?" That is just it. "What in the world?" You see.. the decisions that are being made, are OF the world.

We as Christians are to look for those things that are OF God. I don't want to see our nation pulling away from God more and more, and I will do all I can to help America get back to what it once was (e.g. praying, voting..etc.), but I was reminded of these verses today with my "Daily Verse" post, James 5: 7-8. I will need to be patient until the Lord's coming. Yes, I will need to be patient and stand firm because the Lord is coming soon! Oh to be with the Lord...there will be no more pain, suffering, sin, darkness, evil....the list goes on and on....by the way, God is our ultimate health care....He knows what is best for us and the things to come! Come Lord Come!
Have you given your heart to Jesus Christ? Accept Him as Lord and Savior.

Monday, March 15, 2010

This Little Light of Mine!

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

I noticed this verse in my daily verse online. It immediately made me think of the worship song that we sang in our worship service yesterday, "Mighty to Save". This is so true. Our Lord is Mighty to save, and as the song that we sing says....SHINE your light! It is directly referring to this verse that we are to shine our light before men. Let them see Him in us, and that we would also glorify our Father in heaven.

Let's also remember to remind our children that we are to be good witnesses for our Lord Jesus Christ, shining our light. I am also reminded of the song that I was taught many years ago in Sunday School called "This Little Light of Mine":

Verse 1) "This little light of mine...I'm gonna let it shine..."

Verse 2) "Hide it under a bush..oh NO!...I'm gonna let it shine..."

Verse 3) "Don't let Satan blow it out!...I'm gonna let it shine..."

God bless you, and let your light shine!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Little Dairy Miracles!

Wow! It's that time of year again when you see little miracles being born. Last night three brand new baby Nubian goats were born in our barn to our oldest dairy goat, Adrena. I know it happens every year at our place, but it never stops me from being amazed by God's creation. Two little males (bucks) and one little female (doeling) were born. (This picture is of some of our baby goats last year.)

Of course we are anticipating more to be born in the coming weeks. My wife, Sandra, really takes all of this seriously and is always right there like a nurse, putting her veterinarian skills to good use.
Now comes the early morning and evening ritual of milking the goats. Sandra is very fast at it. Jacob is very fast too. Me? I guess I do alright, but I wouldn't enter a contest. I'm glad I'm just the alternate milker.....I'll work on the other chores while they take care of filling the pails.

I guess we loaded the oats up in the barn just in time last Saturday. The oats really help our dairy goats to produce more and better quality milk. I can't wait to pour the milk over my cereal each morning before I take off to go to work.
Thank you God for these little miracles.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Prayer requests and random thoughts!

I come to the point again where I just feel like sharing some prayer requests and some random thoughts. I hope that all of you are doing well, and that God has been a blessing to all of you.

1) Please keep my son Josh in prayer as he is getting over pneumonia.

2) Please keep my nephew Trae in prayer...he is getting over pneumonia too.

3) Please keep my brother-in-law, Chisum Bennett, in prayer as he is anticipating back surgery and is having quite a bit of pain. Please pray for Amber as she is still trying to be a loving and caring wife and mother in the situation.

4) I am so thankful to God for my wife, Sandra, for being such a wonderful wife and mother during these times of sickness in our family.

5) I am thankful for the team members of our First Praise. We often forget they volunteer each week to bring us a time of worship to our God each and every Sunday. Thanks team for all of your hard work. We look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday.

6) Keep Pastor Shaun in prayer for traveling mercies as he is visiting his grandfather back in Ohio. At the same time, pray that the Lord will continue to heal Shaun after he had his surgery.

7) I am so thankful for forgiveness. Thank you Lord for your mercy, grace, and strength that we learn about from your word!

8) I am looking forward to the weekend. Hopefully we will be able to get healed up and have some rest and relaxation. Oops. Gotta clean out some pins to get ready for kidding. No lambs this year.

9) We are probably going to have some baby goats born out in our barn this weekend. I can't believe that it's that time of year again. Spring is right around the corner!

10) I gotta work on my car this weekend. I'm struggling with rusty bolts. I guess that's why I have named my VW, Rusty the Bug!

Have a great weekend. Thanks for all of the prayer! We will see you for worship this Sunday! God bless you!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Not So Super Bowl Weekend!...but...

As some of you may know, I had the stomach flu bug heading into the weekend. It was not fun. I missed work last Friday. I missed a family birthday party and dinner on Saturday. I was very weak in the knees leading worship on Sunday morning and left after church to go home and rest, missing the church's Super Bowl Party. In short, I missed all of the things, except worship, that I was looking forward to over the weekend. Why Lord? Why?

Well, today it dawned on me.. some blessings that the Lord taught me from it all. It's just amazing how God does that! Here are a few:

1) I have a loving God that knows that I need rest to be able to continue in ministry, serving Him, providing for my family, and teaching the boys at the Wyoming Boys' School.

2) I have a beautiful wonderful wife that cares for me "in sickness and in health".

3) God has blessed me with my sons that were able to continue the farm chores, including hauling and stacking alfalfa hay bails when I was down.

4) I have a wonderful church that I attend with people that support and pray for me.

5) I have a great pastor, Pastor Shaun, who encourages me spiritually and prays for me not just when I'm sick.

6) I have a great boss at my day job, Steve Wake, that makes sure that I can get coverage when I'm not feeling well on the bad days...but also supports me when I need a day off for the good days. I am so thankful that the bad days have been few and far between.

S0...there you have it. Leave it to the Lord to show the good, even when things look bad.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday!

Okay...It's official! Even though I had several players from the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints that got me to the fantasy football championship this year, I have to go with the New Orlean Saints in the Super Bowl. Yup...I'm rooting for them to win!

I figure...Peyton Manning has already had several opportunities to get to the Super Bowl and has a championship ring. New Orleans has never been to a Super Bowl, and I think that it would be great for New Orleans and the surrounding area to win...especially after Hurricane Katrina. I also think its funny that Peyton Manning's father, Archie Manning, was the quarterback back in the day, for the Saints. So, I'll root for Archie Manning's old team. Well, there you have it...my reasons that I would like to see the Saints be Super Bowl Champions this year.

Good luck to Drew Brees, Robert Meachem, Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush, and the rest of the New Orlean Saints! Represent the NFC well! I'm hoping this Super Bowl will be a "shootout" rather than a "blowout"!

By the way...First Baptist Church, Worland is setting up a Super Bowl party with surround sound, prizes, food, and you guessed it fellowship! We hope to see you there! Come before kick-off!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Wow! Our Children Can Worship!

I was so blessed and almost in tears, beaming with joy as our youth praise band led the 1st Baptist congregation yesterday in worship. Their voices blended so well, especially with the large group that we had! The instrumentalists did a great job as well, keeping the chords and the rhythm going in sync. Over all, the Name of the Lord was lifted up and greatly praised. I am so pleased with the youth wanting to praise and with the fact that they are learning what worship is all about!

A special thank you to Ben McMillan for playing drums on the new song that my son, Caleb Garza, wrote and introduced as the special music. I'd be lying if I told you that I wasn't proud of my son. I am very proud and thankful that he and my son, Jacob Garza, are both pursuing their gifts in music and giving it back to the Lord. It is my desire that our youth continue to use their gifts for the Lord, whether it be music, acting, writing, etc. and to really strive to discover their spiritual gifts as well.

Please continue to pray for our youth, that they may gain greater knowledge of our Lord God. Please continue to pray for our Pastor in Student Ministries, Jess Rollema and his wife Heather, as they continue to minister and enrich our young people and enhance what we should be teaching our children from the Bible. Please pray that the Lord will continue to guide me as I teach our kids about worship too. Thanks for all of your prayers and support.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

5th Sunday Celebration!

Hello everybody. I just want to invite you to our 5th Sunday Celebration, this Sunday, January 31, 2010. This celebration will consist of baptisms, inducting new members into our church, communion, etc. This is a very special time to celebrate the great things that the Lord is doing at 1st "B" and in our community of Worland.

Then at the 11:00 service, a rotation of our youth praise band will lead us in worship. Our own Caleb Garza will sing and play the special music that he wrote in praise to our Lord. Pastor Jess Rollema will be bringing the message this Sunday. We are all looking forward to it. We hope to see you all there!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Garza Couple Retreat!

Sandra and I had a wonderful time up in Billings, Montana over the weekend. We decided to go up last Friday night, stay the night at a hotel, and then spend the day together on Saturday. We weren't sure that the weather and roads were going to cooperate with us going up, but we decided to give it a try, driving up after work last Friday. A big thanks to Amber and Chisum for watching our boys while we were gone!

I'm glad that we went when we did because we caught the weather "just right" before a big snow storm hit our region. As a matter of fact, before we got to Billings, a huge snow storm hit and the roads got pretty icy. Thank God for having four-wheel drive! Right before Bridger, Montana, we were going over a ridge and we came upon about 8 deer just standing in the middle of the road. I had a difficult time slowing down, so I started to honk my horn and the deer parted like the Red Sea as we went through the middle of them! Whew!

My wife and I finally got to Billings and it was then snowing like crazy! The roads were full of snow as we got to our hotel to check in. After checking into the hotel, we went on the town for dinner, window shopping, etc. It was fun having the roads to ourselves with no one around. Yes, I enjoyed spinning around corners....and in the parking lots!

The next day was great too. The weather was keeping people at home! No traffic! No waiting in lines at stores. We walked into the Olive Garden for lunch and we didn't have to wait at all like you normally do. Sandra and I had a great time going to Lowes, Walmart, the mall, Berean Books, Michael's, and even an antique store!

Sandra and I decided to leave to go home a little earlier than we normally would, just in case the roads were getting bad. The roads were nicely plowed and not too icy. The Lord gave us a great time together and a safe trip home.

Thank you, Lord, that my wife and I were able to spend some nice fun quality time together over the weekend, and we were able to be at worship on Sunday morning!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thank you for your strength Lord!

"But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head." Psalm 3:3 NIV
No matter what I may be going through, whether it be good times or bad, I know that the Lord is near me. This holds true to all believers. I saw this verse today during a stressful week, and what a PROMISE that the Lord has given! First of all, He is my protector....a shield around me! I thank Him for his glory...not for me to be glorified....but for Him to be glorified! I am so glad that when I am down...He lifts up my head and comforts me. Thank you Lord for being who you are. I am also reminded of the old hymn..."trust and obey..for there's no other way..to be happy in Jesus....but to trust and obey."


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Random Thoughts!

Hello everyone. Hope you are having a great day! Just thought I'd share 10 random thoughts as I wrap up my day on a break. God bless you!

1) I just realized that two more quarters of teaching school...and I can say that I have taught for 20 years! Thanks for the blessings, Lord, over all these years.

2) We are starting up the boys' school ministry for 2010 this Sunday. I'm looking forward to it. The boys enjoy worshiping with a full worship band from First "B".

3) Still thinking of the fun time that I had with the youth at the hockey game.

4) I finished all of my semester report cards today! Yippeee!

5) I'm still waiting for parts to fix Rusty the Bug.

6) Oh well.....the Dallas Cowboys are DONE!

7) My family and I have played a board game together two nights in a row! Fun! "Wits & Wagers"

8) We've got youth worship and the James Bible study tonight!

9) Yum! This cherry Jolly Rancher candy sure is good!

10) I'm listening to NEW worship music.....pondering which ones would be the best to teach the congregation.