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.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Yellowstone Quake Hockey Game!

I had a fantastic time helping Jess and Heather Rollema take the youth from First "B" up to Cody, Wyoming for a Yellowstone Quake hockey game last Sunday afternoon. We (the high-schoolers and I) had a great time cruising up in the Explorer, listening to tunes on the stereo while the middle-schoolers road the First "B" bus!

When we got to the arena in Cody, it didn't take long to get our tickets and storm into the arena for some FUN hockey action! As always, the ice from the rink makes you appreciate sitting in the heated seats of the bleachers. Another thing I appreciate is getting to the rink early to watch the Zamboni smooth out the ice. I'm going to drive that Zamboni someday!

The action on the ice was great, plenty of hockey players slamming each other into the plexi-glass and falling all over the place trying to get control over the puck. It was also great to watch the Yellowstone Quake score several times to win the game over the Butte, Montana team, 4-0! While we were watching the "whipping" of the Montana team, of course the youth and I had to eat all of the junk food available! Not the greatest pepperoni pizza and pretzel, but the atmosphere must have made it taste better. It was also great catching prizes thrown to the crowd after each goal...3 prizes out of 4 isn't bad!

After the win and on our way out to the parking lot, I realized that I couldn't find my car keys. We had to head back into the arena to try and find them. I soon got a cell-phone call letting me know that the keys could be seen on the front seat of my car.....all locked up inside! Great...it was time to call .....AAA! These newer cars are hard to break into! Thank you Lord...a locksmith was there in about 5 minutes and took care of us...while the kids got a head start at Wendy's getting burgers and Frosties! I got my Frosty later. We got home on schedule!

It was later determined that the keys were left in the car in order for the kids to listen to the stereo while we were getting the tickets sorted. When we were ready to go into the arena.....I locked the keys in the car....too excited about the game. Oh well. Thank you Lord for taking care of us and allowing us to have a super time!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Youth Worship!

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

I just have to say that I am very proud of our kids singing and playing in the Youth Worship Team for student ministries. They took a brand new song last night for worship, learned all of the parts, and then taught it to the other kids in the youth group, all within about a half hour. They are really doing a great job!

I am pleased with the worship they are doing, but I also have to say thank you to the Worland music teachers, both the instrumental and vocal departments. Our kids are really learning how to read music and are applying it in worship to our Lord! Way to go guys! A special thanks to Wendy Compton and Rod Woodbury for all their hard work in the Worland district! The fruits of your labor are really showing!

My prayer is that our kids will be trained up to worship God with the talents that He has given them, and when they are old, that they definitely will not depart from it!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Posting #100 with Random Thoughts!

Wow! It is hard to believe that this is my 100th posting. I enjoy occasionally posting the "goings on" in the 1st Baptist ministry, about my family, and just about anything including my random thoughts. There are NO gossip lines on this blog.

Here are some of my random thoughts for today:
1) Lord, sometimes I really wonder why you love me and saved a wretch like me.

2) My students at the Wyoming Boys' School are working hard and are making academic SLAM DUNKS lately! Yee Haa!

3) "Rusty" the Bug is parked in the barn waiting... for some new parts. I can't wait to zip around Worland in the buggy again.

4) Why does technology have to advance so quickly? It seems like it's really trying to take over. Sometimes I long for the old days of the land-lines and pay-phones.....uhhh...but not typewriters!

5) Wow! Did you see the playoff game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Green Bay Packers? It was all offense! Where was the defense? Congratulations Kurt Warner and keep witnessing for Jesus!

6) Go Cowboys! I wish the fantasy football league was still going this year. I had a fun season!

7) Man!....those boys' school enchiladas aren't bad at all!

8) Mmmmm....which new song will we work on next for worship???? Lord, please direct my path on this.

9) Gotta lose some more weight! Thanksgiving and Christmas meals really took a toll! ;-)

10) I think that I need to take my dogs for walks more...that way we all win!

11) Thanks, dear Lord, for the warmer and sunnier weather in the middle of January! We made it 37 degrees!

12) Can't wait to be with my family tonight! Maybe we'll play a game???

Monday, January 11, 2010

Growing Ministries at 1st Baptist!

John 15:5 ""I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. "

I am reminded of this verse when I see the great things that are happening, and are about to happen, in the name of the Lord at 1st Baptist Church. After having a leadership meeting yesterday afternoon, it is wonderful to see how many ministries are being sustained by God and the new ones getting ready to kick off! My prayer is that we would truly remain in the Lord...because quite frankly...we can't do a thing without the Him.

Why do we go to church? To worship our God! To have fellowship in Him! For discipleship! It's all about God! I am excited to see what the Lord will do in 2010! My prayer is that the Lord will continue to bless the worship ministry that I am involved with in church and in the community. I also pray that the Lord will bless all of the other ministries at 1st "B"...from the nursery, to the seniors...from the hospitality, to student ministries and all those in between. I pray that we will all be able to bear much fruit remaining in Him as branches to a very strong and living vine, our God!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Thanks for your birthday wishes and prayers!

So... what is so special about the 43rd birthday in a person's life? Well, for me, I've never had so many people wishing me a Happy Birthday. Thank you so much for making this birthday a fun one! I received tons of e-mails, a birthday party at work, and got home and had a relaxing birthday evening with my family. I was even blessed by having Nic and Kaleb Craft surprise me by knocking on the door and singing "Happy Birthday"....guitar and all. (Thanks you two!)
I've got to tell you...your lead pastor...Dr. Shaun Matako, really got me good. He knew that I was downtown in Worland having tires put on my VW Bug. Sandra and I were waiting for my car to be finished. Shaun walked in and told me that I needed to get down to the church quickly to check my office, because the "heater had been turned up too high, and he wanted me to see if everything was okay" ;-) Yeah...right...I finally got down to my office to find an EXPLOSION of ribbons, Pepsi, and Pringles potato chips all over the place....not to mention the football balloons and Dallas Cowboys mug. Thanks Pastor Shaun! You really know how to take care of your friends and staff for their birthdays. You are the man, Shaun!
Anyway... God bless all of you, and thanks again! I hope and pray that when it's your birthday, you will be blessed like I was.

Monday, January 4, 2010

May God Richly Bless You in 2010!

Ephesians 1:3 "Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly [places] in Christ,"

Dear 1st Baptist,

The Lord truly has been a blessing to us all. My prayer is that the Lord will richly bless you in the year that we have started, 2010. It is my pleasure to serve the Lord by being your minister of worship at 1st Baptist. Thank you for all of your encouragement and prayers through the years. You have truly been a blessing to the Garza family.

My hope and prayer is that Jesus Christ would be glorified with our praises this year and forevermore. I look forward to worshiping with you and teaching you new worship songs as the year progresses. One example of new songs was the one that the worship team did during the offering last Sunday. The song is called "Come Lord Come". We are looking forward to teaching it to you even more this month of January.

God bless you. I'll see you soon.

In Christ,

Jeff Garza