Adult Team Blog

Submerging Yourself in God’s Word

“What are we doing in VBS this year?” I asked my daughter. I lay back on the carpeted floor near her. I know she’s in “the know” because both my teenage girls work in children’s choir.

“We’re doing ‘Submerge.’ We’re already working on a song. It’s really annoying that even when we aren’t practicing it, the girls are singing it. The boys are fed up with the girls.”

Sometimes we have to give up our desires for the greater good.

Reaching the Nations Through VBS

It’s summertime, which means Vacation Bible School time! This time of year is a hot mess of decorating, planning, recruiting volunteers, and passing out flyers as many churches prepare to welcome a small army of little people and engage them with the gospel for a week. If you’re a part of VBS, you know it is exciting and exhausting. It is also an evangelistic effort with kingdom implications.

Our church is nestled in the heart of the Hispanic community in Oklahoma City. Every year, we have a unique opportunity to interact with another culture through VBS. Many children from the Hispanic families in the neighborhood surrounding the church attend our VBS, and it affords us an avenue for connecting with these families. Many of these families would probably not cross the threshold of our church doors otherwise.

The Mission of Summer

Summer is advancing on us with warmer days, tank tops, and cookouts. Summertime is typically a change in our routines. It’s time for family vacations, church activities at the parks, and, for some of us, summer missions trips.

If you are reading this blog, I am going to assume you have a heart for the world and for serving the community around you. Maybe God has called you to a specific people group, demographic, or ministry to volunteer in or partner with in your community. Maybe this summer is a time where you are gearing up to go on a missions trip to the other side of the world or lead a team to a place you have been visiting for years.

Even though we have a heart for the world, sometimes our life circumstances don’t allow us to board a 747 for Asia. Maybe you have a full-time job that keeps tight reign on your vacation hours, maybe you have aging parents, or maybe you’re like me and my third-trimester self who won’t be boarding a plane anywhere unless it’s going to the labor unit at a hospital.

Work as a Team

While my husband, James, and I were in Alaska, we had the opportunity to go dog sledding one afternoon. It was one of the highlights of our trip. James and I took turns helping the musher steer the team of dogs. Actually the musher was in control the entire time; he just wanted us to think that we were helping.

During the dog sledding adventure, a portion of our time was spent visiting the kennel where the 45 Alaskan huskies are kept. All these dogs run in the famous Iditarod sled race each year in Alaska. These are very well-trained dogs.

The musher, Darius, began telling us all about the race. He has been a musher for 15 years and has participated in the Iditarod for many years.

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Let It Go

Have you ever listened to a song that completely changed an everyday phrase?

For example, now you can barely say “Hello,” without someone breaking into song. (“It’s me. I’ve been wondering . . . ”)

You get the idea. Or what about, “Tell me what you want.” (“What you really, really want!”)

Perhaps my favorite phrase to sing is “Let It Go,” from Frozen. While Elsa’s song is quite dramatic, “let it go” is a statement that applies to multiple areas of real life.

One of the hardest things for me to “let go” is attempting to control the future. College is full of big decisions that lead to big life changes. Sometimes the world makes us feel like we should already have a 30-year life plan. Meanwhile, we’re just trying to make it through a tough semester.

Jesus has some practical advice for us. He said, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matt. 6:27 NIV).

Don’t Go There!

“I shouldn’t have done it. I knew better. Once I got started, I couldn’t stop.”

My remorseful friend stood before me with head down. I reassured her that I understood. We all travel damaging paths sometime. But hers was a craving that could end her life, and she knew it. Determination was on her side though, as she resolved to “get it together.”

Giving Up My Life

“We aren’t sure what’s wrong,” said the emergency room doctor.

I’d been experiencing four days of abdominal pain accompanied by a low-grade temperature.

“Your doctor said it could be your appendix leaking infection.” He paused. “But we aren’t sure what that soft mass is.”

Observe the Need, Meet the Need

The phone rings.

My grandmother is on the other end. I’m always happy to hear from her even though I see her and my grandfather several times a month. My mother is working at a new job following her college graduation. I’m proud of my mom; I’m saddened by my parent’s divorce; and I’m confused by the current situation in which we find ourselves.

My grandmother tells me to go to the kitchen, look in the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets, and tell her exactly what I see. I immediately do as she instructs. I tell her the contents of the refrigerator and cabinets. This task takes me less than 3 minutes.

I remember this situation and conversation with my grandmother as if it were yesterday. But this conversation occurred more than 30 years ago. That same day, while my mother was still working, my grandparents delivered sacks and sacks of groceries. My brothers, sister, and I were elated! We had not seen that many groceries in our house in a very long time.

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Rice for Christmas

Mrs. Susan captivated the VBS children with the huge Christmas package. But they were crestfallen when the contents were revealed. Rice, dried beans, flour?

Having made innumerable medical mission trips and also dispensing staple food items to families, Mrs. Susan explained that children in other countries are elated when they receive a bag of rice. Whereas, “unfortunately we all have so much that we are ungrateful.”

Summer Plans

Summer . . . plans. Really? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Summer is not supposed to be about plans. It’s about not having to have a plan! Or at least I used to think so. I guess summer as a grown-up isn’t always quite that free. I remember the feeling of getting out of the last day of school without a care in the world. I had nothing to do and no expectations—just rest, TV, making up games in the yard, or spending time with my grandparents. It was awesome, for a while. It didn’t take long to find out that there were still household chores to do, some expectations of others, and, in the South, a humid heat that drains your energy. Oh, and boredom, sunburns, and mosquitos.

I didn’t make plans back then but I’m pretty sure someone was making them. Summers are pretty awesome, but maybe having a plan isn’t such a bad idea after all.

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