Knowing the importance of assisting South Central Alaskan children to resiliently navigate the recent 7.0 earthquake and the multiple hundreds of aftershocks, I have invited Sandra Robinson, Ph.D., to make several presentations to all interested parents, teachers, educators, volunteers, and church leaders.
Caring for our children, especially those with developmental disabilities, is a highly urgent matter. Due to the urgent need we are not as perfectly organized as we would like to be, but we are ready for three sessions of timely, practical and encouraging training and interaction with Dr. Robinson. Her introduction presented below is super impressive and comforting.
Dr. Robinson will make her presentation three times on Saturday, December 8 and Sunday evening December 9, 2018.
Saturday, December 8 (No childcare)
Registration – 12:30 PM
First Opportunity – 1:00-4:00 PM
Second Opportunity -5:30-8:30 PM
Sunday, December 9 (Childcare provided)
Registration – 5:30 PM
Third Opportunity- 6:00-9:00 PM
Dr. Sandy Robinson has over 34 years of experience in public education. She has taught grades 5-12. She has also been a site administrator and the Director of Special Education in two different districts.
Dr. Sandy has taught teacher preparation courses at California State University, Riverside. She has trained educators, administrators, and parents in the areas of positive behavior techniques, teaching and learning strategies, inclusion techniques, crisis intervention, and Special Education Law. She is an Inclusion Specialist. She brings her extensive experience in the field of special education to faith communities.
Dr. Sandy has been the Regional Director of Champions Club, an international ministry for students and adults with special needs and their families. She is currently the Training Coordinator and Inclusion Specialist for Champions Clubs. In 2012, with the support of Pastor Craig Johnson and Covina Assembly of God Church, she developed and launched the first Champions Club outside of Lakewood Church.
In 2014, Dr. Sandy and Mr. Craig Johnson wrote the first full scale curriculum for Champions (individuals with special needs). The curriculum encourages families to come to know God, love Him, and to share His love with others. In 2017, they released a family devotional that provides families access to the curriculum. It is her desire to assist churches, of all denominations, to successfully include exceptional individuals and their families in all aspects of church life.
She has been married to her best friend for 29 years. God has blessed them with two amazing daughters who love and serve God, and two pugs named Littleman and Charlie.
Alan and Miriam Humphries are being honored for their twenty-six years of pastoral ministry at the Soldotna Church of God and I am delighted to have a part in the honoring.
Alan and Miriam are very close and meaningful friends of mine and I jumped at the opportunity to present the weekend message in their honor. Following are the notes for my message.
As you read these notes, will you consider how much honor you are giving to God’s gift to you (your pastor)? Enjoy!
In Appreciation Of Pastor Alan and Miriam Humphries
It is my joy to give honor, blessing, and appreciation to Pastor and Mrs. Humphries on the occasion of their twenty-sixth year of pastoring the Soldotna Church of God.
Let’s study, today, Ephesians 4.
In verses four and five Paul emphasizes the “One” part of our Christian reality:
• One body Vs. 4
• One Spirit
• One hope
• One Lord Vs. 5
• One faith
• One baptism
• One God and One Father of All
There is no mistaking it. Our Christian life is ONE! Everything is the same.
HOWEVER, in that “one-ness” Paul sees very different graces in each person. “But grace was given to each one…” Vs. 7
Everything is the same and everything is different too!
The graces, of Ephesians 4:7, are given by Jesus in the measure He choses!
Notice the emphasis in verses 7 and 8 on “gifts.” “He gave gifts to men.”
What are the particular graces and gifts that Paul is speaking about? Ephesians 4:11. “And he gave the Apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers…..”
It is my distinct joy and delight to declare, upon the firm foundation of the Word of God, that Pastor Alan and Miriam Humphries are “graces and gifts from Jesus to you!”
In Proverbs 18:16 we learn that “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.”
Paul just taught us that Pastor Alan and Miriam are God’s graces and gifts to you and now we learn that ….
God’s gift to you makes room for Him. In other words, “Alan and Miriam, God’s graces and gifts to you, make room for God’s presence among us.
• God is Head over everything and His gift is Jesus.
• Jesus is Head over the Church and His gift is Alan and Miriam.
• Alan and Miriam are head over Soldotna Church of God and their gift is their whole lives in ministry to you.
God hates grumbling and disputing (Philippians 2:14) and loves blessing, thankfulness, and honor. I Thessalonians 5:12, 13
We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work.
• We are to respect God’s gift, Alan and Miriam.
• We are to esteem them very highly
• We are to do all of this in love.
• Because of their work.
God loves it when you love His gift to you!
When you honor, respect, and esteem highly God’s gift, you are, in fact honoring, respecting, and highly esteeming the Gift Giver, who is God.
When you bless your pastor you bless God who called your pastor, prepared your pastor, sustains your pastor, anoints your pastor, enables your pastor, gives revelation to your pastor, empowers your pastor, and protects your pastor.
I love the truths of Psalm 133 when applied in this context.
The oil of blessing runs down!
2013 Pastor Appreciation Proclamation
Pastor Alan and Miriam are my shepherds; I shall not want.
They make me lie down in green pastures.
They lead me beside still waters.
They restore my soul.
They lead me in paths of righteousness
For God’s name’s sake
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
For they are with me;
Their rod and their staff,
They comfort me.
They prepare a table before me
In the presence of my enemies;
They anoint my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
To navigate the deep waters of life and Christian faith, “Whatever It Takes” is a truth that we need worked into the foundation of our beings.
I had been in prayer for several months, “Lord, you know MCA Church is ALL IN! We are fully into your call on our lives, the spreading of the Gospel to the nations, living holy before you, and walking Biblical lives in the Spirit. What is our next step? It seems that there is far more in you, but what does one add to being ALL IN?
It seems that God began to unveil to me a clearer revelation of the ALL IN truth. I began to realize the one can be ALL IN without going ALL OUT.
I can be ALL IN for the salvation of my neighbors without doing Whatever It Takes to point them to Christ.
I can be ALL IN for personal Christian maturity without doing Whatever It Takes to grow to my full potential in Christ.
I can be ALL IN for meeting the needs of the homeless and hungry without doing Whatever It Takes to meet their needs.
I can be ALL IN on weekend worship without doing Whatever It Takes to truly worship each weekend.
I can be ALL IN as a husband and father without doing Whatever It Takes to be a Christ-like husband and father.
I can be ALL IN on reaching my full potential in Christ without doing Whatever It Takes to do so.
I was immediately moved at the core of my being. “Lord, we will become a church that is both ALL IN and going ALL OUT. We will do WHATEVER IT TAKES!”
Are you ALL IN on the salvation of your family members? Are you doing Whatever It Takes?
Are you ALL IN on your personal health? Are you doing Whatever It Takes?
Are you ALL IN on breaking that addiction? Are you doing Whatever It Takes?
Are you ALL IN on hearing God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant? Are you doing Whatever It Takes?
The challenge is that ALL IN is cheap but Whatever It Takes costs everything. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his classic work “The Cost of Discipleship” said it this way,
“Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession….Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”
Throughout my life, music and lyrics have powerfully been the voice of God to me. Five or six songs literally called me to become the Christian man I intend to be.
It was during my high school years that I was struggling with the “Who am I” questions of life. As a disciple of Jesus, just how far would I go? Am I willing to take up my cross daily, for the rest of my life, and follow Christ? Am I willing to pay the price?
At this point in my life, I heard the following song. Don’t miss the call of the song simply because it is a 1970’s look and sound.
MCA Church, God is calling us to be ALL IN and to do Whatever It Takes.
Making the most of our Alaskan resources for the cause of Christ ia important to me and to MCA Church. Helping folks, world-wide, become people of realized potential is deep in the core of our work. Truly, we want everyone to glorify God and grow to their full potential in Christ.
People potential is vastly diverse and developing potential requires a different approach for each person. One of our “Full Potential in Christ” ministries is the Boaz Operation in Burkina Faso, West Africa. The Boaz Operation is the child education component of our ministry in this fantastic West African nation.
Many Alaskans sponsor a child to attend elementary school through the Boaz Operation. The sponsorship is a twelve month commitment of $20 per month. The sponsored child is blessed to receive a school uniform, a lunch meal, all school materials, a Christmas gift, and a whole lot of Jesus’ love.
Really, I try to be on my best behavior on Sundays, especially when I am teaching the Bible in front of hundreds of people and the entire world-wide web.
Unfortunately, my best intentions don’t always materialize. For example, in the 9:15 service on April 7th, I struggled with anxiety and it became rather obvious. My brain had me so wound up that I couldn’t really talk without gagging. Now that was embarrassing. Yuck! Run and hide! Get out of Dodge. Punt.
In one of my all time favorite speeches, Sir Winston Churchill stated, “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour.” Needless to say, Sunday morning wasn’t my finest hour.
I LOVE to teach the Bible. I don’t particularly like being exhibit A. Yep, Jesus helps in the grief process, but I don’t want anyone to see me grieve. Sure, Jesus is our healing, but I don’t want anyone to see me sick. It is so much easier to teach the wisdom of God than to genuinely allow folks to see the processes of actually trying to live it out in everyday, real life, situations.
Until the Living Word intersects the living moment the ministry event hasn’t occurred. I love theology, but theology must always become personal biography to have any lasting impact.
On Sunday some of you saw your pastor doing his best to make the Living Word of God work in his everyday, broken clay pot life. Maybe it was a bit unsettling for you (it sure was for me), but when we walk through our human weaknesses we can all be delighted that God has placed the treasure of His glory in any of our jars of clay.
With my family, friends, prayer warriors, doctors, and loving MCA Church family, I will be just fine.
I look forward to seeing your jar of clay next Sunday and, I promise, I will try to be on my best behavior and maybe we will have our finest hour!
I am speaking tonight at a pre-tournament worship service for the Island Revival 2nd Annual Softball Tournament. What is the essence of competition? When the lights dim, the crowds disperse, the event is over and you are all alone with your thoughts…what will matter then?
Competition really isn’t about winning; it is about excelling as a person within the competition.
If competition is about winning, any means is justified. Win in any way, at any cost, regardless of character, integrity, and honesty.
Today, in particular, this is of interest. Roger Clemens was found not-guilty of lying to Congress (and many other charges) about cheating in sports with steroids and human growth hormones. Roger has been a remarkable winner. The question was simply, did he excel as a person with the competition or did he go outside of the competition?
For our Island Revival Softball Tournament let’s use 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 as the competition within which we excel at softball.
4. No envy
5. No boasting
6. No pride
7. No dishonor of others
8. No self-seeking
9. No easy anger
10. No record of wrongs
11. Rejoice with the truth
Several of our MCA team members are energetic participants in the blogosphere. In hope of pressuring them to keep their blogs current, I will list their URL’s here :0)
1. Pastor Blaine Schmidt writes an encouraging and very pastoral blog. Check it out here.
2. Pastor Pam Hodges keeps you informed of the MCA Children’s Ministry here.
3. MCA Youth Director, Howard Hansen, keeps you up to speed on MCA Youth Ministries here.
4. MCA Worship Pastor, Michael Roux, dials you in on the MCA Worship and Arts ministry here.
5. Dale Baker, MCA Young Adult Ministry Director spreads the Young Adult Ministry news here.
If, perchance, these blogs are a bit outdated, please lovingly pressure your dear friends to keep you informed in a timely manner. :0)
I am glad our team is venturing out into the blog world and learning the skill necessary to keep the world posted. Our team has been given the assignment of dedicating one hour of each work day to their online presence and ministry. Will you help me keep them motivated, fired up, and online? Thanks.
I couldn’t resist starting all of the keywords above with the letter “P.” Actually, Pastor Pam and Kids in Training Director, Peggy, are leading the Kids in Training team to Yakutat, Alaska for a week of ministry. The children are well rehearsed, prepared, and anointed for service. The leadership team is ready to lead the way into a tremendous season of effective ministry there.
The Kids in Training ministry is designed to equip children to do works of service at MCA, in Anchorage, Alaska, and the world. KIT team is a prolific children’s mission ministry that has launched many children and adults into global ministry.
Special thanks to the children for their steadfast and diligent work in preparing their lives for service to Christ. We are also full of appreciation for the many adults who give of their time and skill to enable these children to become all God intends.
Children’s ministry is one of the leading edges of the current MCA growth curve. In the months of January and February the Children’s Ministry has an average Sunday morning attendance of 280 young champions for Christ. Should the Lord tarry, we would like to see at least 400 children in Sunday morning attendance in the 2012 ministry year.
Together we can reach the children in South Central Alaska with the Good News of salvation in Christ. Invite a child and her or his parents to hear the Good News through Pastor Pam’s team and let’s see what the Lord accomplishes.
When we look closely at our lives we begin to comprehend that the story line of our life is His-story. God continually infuses our experience with a narrative that moves in directions we only understand by reflecting upon our yesterdays.
I bumped into this notion while studying pain at Northwest University. C.S. Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
Pastor Joany Bazemo was fascinated with the God story inside the lives of Boaz and Ruth. I doubt that these two key Biblical people had an awareness of the glorious and grand story God was weaving into the narrative of their lives.
May the Lord give us eyes to see at least a hint of the grand story he is including in our living.
Our leadership team is pursuing the benefits of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done.” His productivity system is simple, effective, and beneficial. For further info, please direct your web browser to www.davidco.com.
There are two questions that productivity coaches can not answer for us. 1. What is the best thing for me to get done? 2. What are the most important things for me NOT to do?
As a general rule, it seems to me that the answers to these vital questions are discovered in the realm of morals and morality. It is not a stretch to realize that the principles of productivity can be applied by both moral and immoral people.
These questions can generate great fear. What if deep, personal, life change is necessary in order to do the things that are best for me to do? If you can’t serve the Lord at your current place of employment, then a job change may be a good decision. You may make far less money, miss seeing your co-workers, and regret not being able to reach your full potential in that job, but you will have the confidence that you have character, integrity, and morality.
I am praying that the readers of my blog will not only be “Getting Things Done,” but will be getting the right things and God pleasing things done.