It’s A Great Easter Week!

>> Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tonight at both our junior high CHAOS and our high school BIG HOUSE events, our staff will be inviting students to make new or greater commitments to Jesus Christ. I believe great things will happen in the hearts of students.

Tomorrow night our college BASIC event on UNI’s campus will feature 6 or 7 students sharing their testimonies and Orchard will have an Easter Thursday Communion Service. Friday night fourteen high school seniors from 5 different high schools will share at the Community-wide Good Friday Service of Darkness. Again, I believe that God will work in a powerful way.

A Visit and A Gift!

This morning Dan Paxton, the senior pastor of Heartland Vineyard (our neighboring church across the street), stopped in to give me a book he thought would be helpful to me and we prayed together. We prayed for each other and for both of our churches to have impact this Easter week.

Dan’s stopping in made me feel humble that he was thinking about and caring for me on this busy Easter week. As I reflected upon his visit and his gift, I wanted to pass on the encouragement to other church leaders. I emailed several friends who lead churches in the Cedar Valley and let them know that I would be praying for their congregations this Easter. As I would expect, they “replied to all” and committed to pray for each others congregations on this Easter week.

On top of that, our Mission Team to Haiti, will be with our partners near Pignon, Haiti this Easter. Our team of ten which includes staff members (Doug Tensen & Pat and Diane Oehler) will be leading that church in worship on Easter Sunday morning. This Easter weekend will be awesome at Orchard and across the Cedar Valley and the world.

I Am So Thankful!

I thank God that I can be part of a community where churches authentically pray for each other instead of competing against each other. I thank God that I can be a part of a congregation that invests so much in God’s kingdom beyond just our congregation.

It is my hope and prayer that everyone reading this has a powerful and inspiring Easter!


God Rocks at Love Cedar Valley!

>> Saturday, April 2, 2011

One of 160 explosions of kindness today. This is Lincoln Park where a team includes folks from Drug Court!

Over 500 people attend the final worship gathering at Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center in downtown Waterloo after serving in Explosions of Kindness!

The band had musicians from 9 different churches!

One God.

One church of Jesus Christ

55 local congregations participating

160 Different Explosions of Kindness done in the name of Jesus

1200+ people join as volunteers

Love Cedar Valley was a huge success today and I was proud to be a part of the church of the Cedar Valley. This is probably the day that best demonstrates the oneness of the Body of Christ within the valley. I just love that 55 local congregations participated in this demonstration of God's love. The name of Jesus was lifted up in worship, in teaching, in prayer and in concrete demonstrations of his love.

I believe this was an answer t0 the prayer of Jesus in John 17 where He asks that His followers would be one just as He and the Father are one! Today oneness was demonstrated.

My wife, Linda and I greeted people as they came to the Five Sullivan Brothers Center. It was a blast to greet many of the 600 people who attended the kick-off session. It was inspiring to meet so many great people and then join them in worship and loving the Cedar Valley. This is the most multi-ethnic worship that I participate in locally and it is sweet to watch so many different kinds of people worship God.

Laura Hoy did a great job of leading this event. She also gave a short and powerful teaching asking if we are willing and courageous to be the hands and feet of Jesus. She reminded us that God has always accomplished much through the small and courageous actions of His people.


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