Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Different Take on "God's Glory"? -- Katie Fansler

I had the opportunity to go to the Bebo Norman / Mercy Me concert last Friday night. It was a fun night with friends and good music. While there are many good things to talk about that I enjoyed concerning the concert, for this blog I’d like to zero in on one thing: Mercy Me’s take on God’s glory. I found myself a bit disturbed and wondered if I was the only one. It may be that I got the wrong impression, but an impression I did indeed get!

Did anyone else think that he was implying that God received glory from tragic and grievous things that happen to us, i.e. cancer, to use his example, so we shouldn’t fight it or feel too bad about it? He made the comment that God has approved everything that happens to us, before it happens. This reminded me of a business manager putting his signature on all expenditures – giving his approval to what happened in the office. This implies that God was somehow involved with those hurtful things in our life – so that we should just accept everything bad as God’s will, knowing that He will “get the glory” from it somehow. (They didn’t explain how that would happen.)

While many things said at the concert were uplifting and helpful, this one thing hit me wrong. I felt sick to think that there were people in the audience suffering with a new diagnosis of cancer or had just lost a loved one, or were in some other crisis, who would think God wanted this to happen to them and that somehow God was getting glory from their suffering.

This is what I think about God “getting the glory.” First of all: all good gifts are from the Father. He created this world to be perfect. God wanted us to have free will, to love him without being forced to or programmed to love. We always have a choice to love or hate; to serve God or serve ourselves. Humans, not God, brought sin into the world. By choosing self-reliance, thinking that they knew better than God how to live and demanding control, Adam and Eve introduced to our world the things of death: disease, decay and aging, fear, violence/war, addictions. Because of Jesus, we have a way out of the death spiral of the bondage of self-centered lifestyle. No longer a slave to the control freak we were, we can choose to trust in the Holy Spirit to guide, fill, direct, comfort, and be with us. And, God promises that as we hand over control to the Holy Spirit, he transforms us from the inside; we become more and more like Jesus.

When we collide with tragedy, we know that God is present with us to help us through it. God “gets glory,” because we trust him; we let him comfort us and understand that he did not bring this about; rather, it is the ripple affect of sin in our world. We are promised his help – directly by the peace of Christ that we can feel inside, and indirectly through brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. God “gets glory” when people with transformed hearts reach out with his love and comfort, showing mercy and forgiveness, when we are peacemakers – in other words, when we demonstrate God to a world that is desperate for God. Let’s give God glory by allowing him to live through us, impacting our world for His Kingdom!

--Katie Fansler

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Power Lab -- Night 5

Horizons' Kids Helping Kids might be one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. In one night alone, we raised over $1000 to help send two orphans in India to college. Add that to the over $600 we raised at the beginning of the week, and we are sending enough money to India to help with additional expenses at the orphanage, on top of the boys’ college expenses.

Oh, and that’s not to mention the over 600 books that kids brought to give to our new friends -- the refugee families from Burma. These Karen families have relocated halfway across the world to an entirely new culture, and our VBS kids brought books to help the kids and their families learn and practice English.

Yes, fun was had this week at VBS. We had engaging dramas, praise-filled worship, high energy games, creative crafts, and awesome volunteers to make it all happen. But to me, the best part of the week is that our kids put their faith in Jesus’ miraculous power and came through in a big way as a part of Horizons' Kids Helping Kids. So, as I sit here taking in all in… I am fully confident that the spirit of Christ moved in real and big ways this week, and will continue to move through the kids and families that were a part of VBS. There is definitely power in the love of Jesus!

Oh, yeah, and I guess I can’t leave out the fact that Bob and Karl had to dress like girls. Nothing like going out in style! Here’s to a week that only God could have orchestrated.

Miss Lisa

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Power Lab -- Night 4

Jesus gives us the power…AHA! I’ve heard stories about people walking on water and discovered miracles as blind men see. But the thing I remember from VBS is that Jesus gives us the power!

Jesus gave us the power to invite friends to VBS. Friends poured in through the doors! We may see Bob and Karl dress like girls yet. Jesus gave us the power to bring money and books for Operation Kid to Kid. We saw books and money come being piled up! Looks like we might just reach our goal there too.

We’ve discovered some amazing things at VBS…and had a ton of fun. But the best thing I’ve discovered is where my power comes from – Jesus.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Power Lab -- Night 3

Hello from the lab!

Wow! Power Lab was pumped up tonight!! God was definitely in the House!! The Horizons' Kids Helping Kids project is amazing...don't forget to bring your offering and books tomorrow!! I have some great science books I'm going to bring!

I hope everyone enjoyed all of our experiments! I'm learning SO much about all of Jesus' powers!! Jesus gives us the power to be thankful, the power to be helpful and tonight we learned about the power to be brave ~ which is especially important when dealing with mice!! EEK!!

I can't wait to see everyone again tomorrow and learn more about Jesus' other miraculous powers! And I hope everyone brings a friend or two so we can reach 425! I really want to see Bob and Karl dress up as that's an experiment!!

Well I better get back to my test tubes...Harold is supposed to be watching them for me but I think I just heard a crash!!

See you all tomorrow back in the lab!!
~Professor Wilma~
(Nikki Ford)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Power Lab -- Night 2

Vacation Bible School is absolutely positively AMAZING!!!

So the first night was a little rocky but baby was tonight smooth. Bob and I are pumped with the amount of energy flowing in this years’ VBS Power Lab. Words cannot describe how excited we are to be here again this year and to see that the kids are excited to have a good time and to experience God at VBS. It was so much fun to see over 350 kids here tonight at VBS (which by the way is not yet 425). Remember that if registration reaches 425 kids this year, we will dress like girls for the closing of Vacation Bible School.

Don’t forget about Horizons’ Kids Helping Kids. This year, we are trying to collect children’s books for the Karen families that moved to Lincoln from Burma. These books will help them to learn English and better adapt to our culture. Horizons’ Kids Helping Kids is designed to give kids a chance to serve other kids in our area. This is an amazing opportunity for kids to serve and help others their same age. Well, hope to see you all tomorrow at VBS and don’t forget to keep inviting friends. I know you want to see me in a dress.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Power Lab -- Night 1

Hey there everybody, it’s Professor Beaker here at VBS Powerlab!
VBS got off to a great start tonight with over 300 kids but we still need 125 for the Bob and Karl Challenge.
Today kids learned that Jesus gives us the power to be thankful. Ah-hah! Albert Einstein (Mark Danley) visited us and showed us a super cool science experiment and kids discovered Jesus’ miraculous power in skits and made necklaces and pictures frames to remind them of this.
Kids also watched as Chadder entered a castle and wandered off trying to find a candy machine. He fell and hit a wall that led to a secret lab and angered a professor down there. Will Chadder ever find a candy machine? Will he escape the evil professor? Tune in to tomorrow’s blog to find out!

-LS and KH

Vacation Bible School is in The House!

I can't believe it's that time again -- Vacation Bible School @ Horizons. This year's Power Lab runs from Sunday through Thursday and each night we plan to post the highlights of the night and maybe even a few pictures along the way!

Check back often and see what's happening in the Lab!


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Where's God?

When my now 4-year-old was a new talker, we'd be driving around Lincoln and he'd ask, "Mama, where's God?" and I'd reply, "Everywhere."

This semester, my lack of a science class with a lab requirement caught up with me so I've been immersed in Geology 101 in the interest of graduating in May. I dreaded the class all summer because there's a huge difference between Political Science and, well, science. Turns out it's been one of my favorite classes this semester. Rocks are cool. Earth is super cool. All the stuff going on in and around the planet: all of it very cool. When I told Mace that God was everywhere, I hadn't really thought about what that meant.

"God rocks," I say often. But this semester, I've seen God in the rocks. And that's awesome.