Wednesday, November 10, 2010

West-Ark Mission Goal for 2011

West-Ark’s 2011 missions budget is $273,153.  We hope to raise $225,000 of that on November 14th with a special missions contribution during worship.  (The remaining $48,000 comes from the regular weekly contribution.)  This amount is a 9.8% increase from last year’s goal ($248,736).  The mission budget goal is not ever-increasing, rather it represents the funds needed to meet the opportunities that God has set before us in a given year.

The 2011 budget represents an on-going commitment to disciple-making efforts in Ethiopia, Nigeria, Belgium, Guyana, Thailand and Southeast Asia.  These may seem like faraway places, but they are as close to us as the connections that we have as the Lord’s church.  That was vividly represented last Sunday when Chris C. baptized his daughter, who has grown up overseas, in the same baptistery where many of our children were baptized.  

The 2011 budget also represents growth.  God has inspired two young men who grew up among us, John Carson and Trenton Schien, to make disciples for Jesus.  Trenton, whose faith was nurtured by all of his spiritual family here, is studying to be a missionary at AIM in Lubbock.  John, who also grew up here and has been active in our youth and college ministries, has been invited to work full-time with the Impact Houston Church of Christ.  John hopes to make disciples on the streets of Houston assuming he is able to raise support.  Yes, our own United States is also a mission field!  [See John’s reports at]

This Sunday, Nov. 14, there will be pledge cards and envelopes in the pews.  During the second offering, please consider making a single offering or a pledge to be paid out during 2011 that will help us all reach the goal of $225,000.  

To my readers and friends outside of the West-Ark family, I invite you to participate in these good works also.  God blessed us last year to build an outreach center to the University of Arkansas Fort Smith campus.  We raised the money for that in about a month and were blessed to receive gifts from individuals who believed in the dream and the mission even if they weren't technically "a member" of this congregation.  It taught me to open the door and just give others the chance to attach themselves to something great.  I can tell you that the variety of works that make up the 2011 Mission Plan are great.  Contributions to the West-Ark Church of Christ, 900 N. Walrdon Road, Fort Smith, AR 72903 should be noted "For 2011 Missions."  And any such gifts are certainly tax deductible.  Just contact me if you have any questions.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fellowship at the Foot of Mount Nebo

Yesterday was a blessed day. I visited with an old friend. He and I do the same kind of work but in different settings. Still, we have some of the same vision and the same frustrations.

It had been a long time since we got together for a meal, swapping stories, and prayer. I realize just how much I have missed.

No matter what circumstances we are in, spirituality is always appropriate. I do not mean piety or religiosity. I mean the awareness that we are mind, body, and spirit. To neglect any part of that triad is to atrophy. We are wrong to discount or ignore the time needed to cultivate our spiritual life. Perhaps we think that work (even slavish work) is more honorable? Being attentive to the spiritual is as vital as exercise, good diet, and proper rest.

I am thankful for the hour spent by the lake looking up at Mount Nebo (the one in Arkansas) and spend a little time jabbering, praying, and paying attention to God's spirit.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

So Where Have I Been?

What happened to the blog? Maybe Facebook killed it. Who wants to read extended blog posts when it is easier to read nice little quips on the "walls" of friends and foes. Why bother with the electronic equivalent of a magazine when graffiti is more interesting?

I have not written anything here in seven months.

I have not written anything at the Magic Lantern Show in two years.

Did anyone notice? Hello, is there anybody out there? Just nod if you can hear.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Where Have I Been for the Last 12 Years?

I like to think that I know obscure music. Strange blendings of genres are may favorite. So why is it that I am just now hearing about Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester?

I love it that Max and his band have attempted to create the dance hall music of the Weimar Republic days. But they will tackle any music. My favorites are their covers of hits from the 80's, 90's and 2000's. In 2001 and 2002 they released Super Hits albums that contain the likes of Soft Cell's "Tainted Love,"
Billy Joel's "Uptown Girl," and Queen's "We Will Rock You" among others. I have to laugh when Max speaks the rap to Salt N Peppa's "Let's Talk About Sex." He sounds like Jorge Jorgenson.

So if you've ever wondered what Big Band, polka, klezmer, disco, rap, and rock would sound like if it was all mixed up in an industrial strength blender, then check out Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester.