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, 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 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 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!, 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 name 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.