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Pastor Bill's OLD Blog

Communicating With You Makes My Day!!!

July 2008 - Posts

  • Ready, Set GOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    After MONTHS of snags and "hold-ups", we now have received FINAL APPROVAL to begin construction of our new stage.

     PTL!

    This stage is needed so badly! For years we have had to set-up and tear down every weekend. We will still have to set-up and tear down the chairs but we will no longer have to "man handle" those heavy and awkward pieces of staging or construct the back-drop. We will not have to set-up the audio/visual equipment. This is so important. The A/V equipment is very expensive and the wear and tear on these sensitive items has been enormous. Our A/V team has done such a magnificent job in keeping the integrity of the quality of the sound and projection equipment. They have gone to great extremes to make sure the equipment was handled properly and always secure.

     KUDOS go to Don Young who is the Levite Team leader. He has been responsible for the set-up and tear down every weekend for several years. KUDOS also goes to Jeff Coffey who is the Audio/Visual Team leader. These men and their volunteers have done so much to make your Sunday worship experience comfortable and with a smooth transition. We, as a church, owe them so much. Now, we need to show our appreciation to them and our thanks to God by all committing to completing this stage as soon as possible.

    Both Don & Jeff have been behind the scenes serving but they have also been the primary supporters and encouragers of constructing the new stage. Another person who has been an invaluable proponent of this progress and growth is Keith Madden. Having been our Worship Team leader for over a year, he caught the vision of where we need to grow and go. Thanks, Keith, from all of your Amigos at Hillview.

    This Sunday, everyone will have the opportunity to begin serving and volunteering. I beg you to cut out TV, video games or whatever consumes your extraneous time and let's all join together to see this stage construction through to completion.

    Love you guys and PROUD to be the pastor of

    THE GREATEST CHURCH IN THE WORLD!

    Bill

  • Are We Worthy?

    Since Sunday's sermon, a few of the verses I read but really didn't hit on have been eating at me for some reason.  Let me give them to you.

    Matthew 10  -  37 "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 "He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
     

    I have an intense sense of all three of these verses personally.  As I look around our nation and denomination, I see an insufficient amount of the description in these verses in the lifestyle of the average Christian.

    Secondly, we often read the words of Christ as if they're coming from a sacred pulpit or "Heavenly Department of Philosophy".  We assign them to an esoteric corner of our mind.  This is the part of the brain that has things in it that make us smile but little value is attributed to the content.  Like a poem.  They strike at the emotions and have contextual value, but, it's just a poem.  That is NOT where God's word is to be stored. Remember - His word is the "engrafted word".

    I'm a very simple thinking kind of guy. I actually believe words mean something.  That's why it's hard for me to listen to political speeches (and some preachers). It's so hard to find valuable content in the morass of rhetoric. I think that's probably why a lot of people find my sermons so different.  I refuse to philosophize and sugar coat.  I despise the "plastic" facade that some speakers have and it seems so easy to detect.  Could be that I am a victim of the gift of discernment which is a blessing but can sometimes be seen as a curse.

    Back to the issue at hand.  I read this passage at the Gessells/Stevens small group last night.  We talked about it for 15 minutes or so. Then, I noticed something.  I was asking the group to give me the true meaning of the verses from a logical (albeit plain) frame of mind. They did the same thing I did.  We all had completely skipped over a very important word: WORTHY.  When I asked them the definition within the context, they were stymied.  We discussed it for 5 minutes before we came to a plausible conclusion.

    The word "worthy" is used in verses 37 & 38.  It comes from the Greek word axios which, in Strong's opinion, means deserving, comparable or suitable (as if drawing praise):--due reward, meet, (un-)worthy.

    We may be Christians but will we receive (draw or deserve) the praise of Jesus when we meet Him for the first time in judgment or will He be disappointed? The thing about these verses are that they demand a discussion with Jesus.  I'm all for self-examination but I think we need more one on one Jesus examination. Most of us can't wait to get our yearly reviews at work.  In fact if they are late or missed, we get furious and feel unappreciated. Maybe it's time we scheduled a yearly "review" with Christ - one on one. Have time today?

    See you Sunday.

    Helping you grow!

    PB

     

     

  • Dominican - On our way home!

    We're packing up and finalizing things.  Saying "adiós" to the SCORE staff and leadership.  Getting e-mail addresses of the people we have met from all over the USA.  It's sad but joyful as well because we're coming home.

    There's mixed emotions.  Last night, the team had an awesome testimony service. We randomly picked a name out of a hat and gave some meaningful hi-light of how that individual made an impact in our lives and the lives of others this week.  This was and is a great group.  The dynamics were exceptional.  God sent exactly who He wanted to go.

    Thanks to all of you for praying and supporting this ministry.  We still believe it will be even greater in the years to come and will impact many, many more churches.  Pray for us that we have a safe flight home.

    We have been to the mountain.  We have heard the whisper of God and we will never be the same again. (1 Kings 19:9-21)

    God Bless You!

    Bill & Kris

    Your humble team leaders 

  • Dominican Republic - Day 7

    This was our vacation day so just a few clips and pics.  Can't wait to see you Sunday and tell you all about it!

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  • Dominican Republic - Day 6

    By Todd & Levonda Kreitzburg

    Thursday, July 03, 2008

    Today was a very special day in the Dominican. We started the day off by going to Jumbo, a store very much like the Wal-Mart or Meyers in the USA.  Each of us got a shopping cart and put in enough food to feed four families for one week.  Each family received rice, beans, vegetable oil, two cans of tuna, coffee, salt, and chicken broth, which comes to about $12.50 US dollars.  We lined up with our carts and went through the check out line.  Our bus driver, Tiko, even talked the store into a 10% discount.  The bagger bagged each family's food in an individual bag.  We loaded the food on the bus and then drove to a nearby sugarcane village named Aleman which means German Village.  At the village, we walked through the village inviting the neediest families to the center of town for a program.  We were able to invite 50 families to receive food and hear God's word.  The program started with the villagers singing "Happy Birthday" to Pastor Bill- Yes, July 3 is Pastor Bill's birthday.  They sang the song in Spanish.  Katie and Chris gave their testimonies and Pastor Bill gave the message.  Then we did our skit.  After the program, we passed out 50 bags of food  to families.  It was just such a blessing to be able to know that people who have no food now have food for a week.  God is such a great God and his hand was at work today.

    Then we came back to the compound for lunch.  Pastor Bill, got another Happy Birthday song sung to him.  This time, the song was a rap sang to him by another group at the compound, "Kids Across America".  They are a group of African American teens from all across the USA.  They are really on fire for the Lord!  Boy, did they ever have a unique way of rapping Happy Birthday, but Pastor Bill was a great sport and even seemed to enjoy the song!

    We still had 27 bags of food left so this afternoon we went to a village names Palo Viejo.  This was a much smaller village and had much more poverty.  We walked through the village and invited all the children and families to the center of town.  There were only about 25 families in the village so the crowd was much smaller.  We played "Duck, Duck, Goose with the children in Spanish.  Then, we passed out balls, sun visors, and yo yos to the children.  We had a short program where Kerstin, Gary, and Angela gave their testimonies.  The word of God was preached to the families.  The village sang Happy Birthday to Pastor Bill in Creole.  The best part of the day was when we passed out the bags of food.  The people at this village really needed it.  Many of the men work all day in the sugar cane fields.  They get up as early as 4:00 AM and don't come back until at least 4:00 PM.  They do this without any food in their stomach.  The men wear long sleeve sweat shirts , long pants, and high boots so they don't get cut by the sugar cane. 

    In this village we went into a house that was about 5' by 6'.  It was very dark with no windows.  The man who lived there said he was about 80 years old.  He had a wooden board that he slept on.  All his possessions were hanging on the wall by him.  He was very proud of his Bible and kept it under his pillow.  This was the worst case of poverty that I have every seen.  Before we left, we gave each child in the village a little back pack, some stickers, a little notebook, a colorful pen, and a pinwheel.  They were overjoyed and excited.  It was so fun!

    On our way back to the compound, we saw a man working in the sugar cane field.  Our bus driver stopped and asked if he had eaten today.  He had not.  We had one bag of food left that we gave to him.  I truly believe that was God's hand working. 

    We also stopped at the old folks home in Monte Christy were we picked up Cindi, Don Young, Chappel Hill's Donny Young, Cheryl, and Jeff who had worked in the afternoon putting in the cabinets that they had made this week.  They are for the women to put their clothes on.  We had made an extra cabinet by mistake.  So Cindi took the extra cabinet into the kitchen for the women to put their dishes on.  The women thought this was the best thing in the world.  They only wanted their very best dishes on this cabinet.  The women were so happy and excited!  The cabinets looked wonderful!

    I am overjoyed and overwhelmed with what I saw today.  One one hand it was wonderful to help feed as many families as we did.  On the other hand, it was so sad to see the poverty and hunger that we saw today.  My prayer is that God truly blesses each person we saw and talked to today.

    It was such a busy, fun day.  We were all tired, but it was a good tired because the Lord blessed so much today! 

    Happy Birthday Pastor Bill!!

     

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  • Dominican Republic - Day 5

    Today we went to the capitol city, Santo Domingo, and passed out gospel tracts downtown.  We did a little sight seeing and then visited the handicap orphanage. No picture taking was allowed and it can only be described in sad and disturbing tones.  The team was able to minister to the children and it made their day!  Continue to pray for us.  Here's some video and pictures of what happened in the park and during the day.

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  • Dominican Republic - Day 4

    By: Kristen, Kirsten & Caitlin 

    Today we visited the orphanage in La Romana. As soon as we walked thru the gate the children attached themselves to us quickly. One thing that I have noticed about these children is that they want to share their names (nombres) with us. One child, Danilin, wrote down her name for me on a piece of paper and gave it to me. Then she asked me to write my name and give it to her. I wonder how many names this child has kept to remember the many people that she has met along the way.

    We also visited the Sugar Cane village today to play with the children. The men played baseball with the older boys, and the women played volleyball and had their hair braided by the girls. After the baseball game Pastor Bill told a story of Jesus to the young men. He asked, "does anyone want to accept Jesus Christ into their life?" One young man raised his hand, and stayed to speak and pray with the men. This man was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals and, because of "issues", was sent packing.  He is an extraordinary ball player.  We saw him in action.  He was gloriously SAVED! What a wonderful blessing to witness here.

    We had five stay behind to make cabinets for the Old Folks Home in Monte Cristy.

    On a lighter note, we have made a list of the Top 15 memories of the Republic of the Dominican.....so far,

    15.) Learning how to "coot".

    14.) Beware of the "shadow rats"

    13.) Life risking pictures of the armed guard

    12.) If the devil doesn't like it he can sit on a tack does not translate into Spanish well

    11.) Tami has cornrows in her hair

    10.) Dodging oncoming traffic

    9.) What does an American smell like?

    8.) Cow patties in the ball field, no sliding!

    7.) Horseback riding and cowboy Kris (we weigh more than the horses)

    6.) There really is a mafia in the DR

    5.) Outbreak of crabs (moon crabs)

    4.) Fruit ice cream is the best

    3.) Mass transit system(the new mini-van) the moped

    2.) The children

    1.) Donde?

    God Bless,

    DR mission 2008

    To watch a video of Pastor Bill and Pastor Santiago talk and see the young man saved, click here. It takes about 10 minutes.

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  • Dominican Republic - Day 3

    Written by: Gary Sargent & Angela Young - Westerville FWB Church

    We started the day with sunshine and heat-- another normal day in the Dominican! Our agenda today started at 9am with a 30 minute bus ride to the village of Monte Cristy. We began our work there at the nursing home by doing several meaningful things to help them.

    • Provided housecoats to the senior females. We met Bonita, who told us she was over 100 years old. Continue to pray for everyone there; residents, workers, and missionaries too.
    • Began planning to build cabinets for storing clothes for the senior females to store their clothing. (Right now, they keep them under their mattresses.)  Pray for the carpenters, that the supplies needed are available, and that their skills can be utilized properly and efficiently.
    • Two clotheslines were hung. A praise: the missionaries have acquired the assistance of someone to do the laundry there. Until now, some of the more able bodied residents have been doing laundry for everyone.

    Upon leaving the nursing home, the group divided into two groups and, with the assistance of interpreters, went door to door to let the people know we were going to have games and crafts for their children at the church. Over 100 children came! What an amazing sight it was to see the two groups walking toward each other surrounded by the village children!

    As we came into the church, many of the children sat right on our laps or scooted right up to our sides. Molly and Todd gave their testimonies, we sang, and a group performed a mime. Veronica (the missionary we are working with this week) shared the salvation story by using 5 people with different colored shirts: black, red, white, yellow, and green. After the program about 65 younger children stayed in the church to do crafts, and the rest of the children played whiffle ball in the field. We all saw that children are children, no matter what country they call home.

    After a totally "Dominican" lunch of beans and rice at Score, we got back on the bus and headed for Santo Domingo, where we visited Jackie's House, an orphanage for children of prostitutes. About 40 children, several with disabilities, live at Jackie's House. We spent time there playing with the children, watching them sing and dance, and even getting the opportunity to sing with them. Before we left, we all gathered in a circle and listened as Israel, a 13 year old at the orphanage who wants to be a pastor, led us in prayer. (This was definitely one of the many times that we were all thankful for Carter, our translator.) We were all touched as this young man, who has no earthly father to turn to, prayed with confidence to "Daddy God."

    Please pray for the children and all of those that minister at Jackie's House. May the children continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and may the staff continue to see needs being met. Also, pray especially for Israel. This young man has such a love for Jesus Christ and a desire to serve Him. Please pray that, if it is God's will, that he will one day get the opportunity to serve as a pastor. By the way, as Israel prayed today, he prayed and thanked God for you: our families and friends who sent us here to minister. Finally, many of these children do have parents who are around, yet unwilling or unable to fulfill their responsibilities as parents. Pray that God would use the children and the staff at Jackie's House to lead these parents to the Lord and to heal these broken families.

    After returning to Score, our group went several different directions before dinner. Some went to the beach. Some went to the pool. Some grabbed a book or pulled up a chair to talk. Some even took a nap! (The heat really does tire you out!) After dinner, we had our devotions. Tonight's devotion from Romans 9 was led by Tim Wolfe, a missionary here at Score. Tim and his wife, Evelyn, have been such a blessing to our team. Please keep them in your prayers as they minister here in the DR.

    Once we finished our devotions, we got a special treat: letters from our prayer partners!! To those of you who made this special commitment to pray for and encourage us, we say, "Thank you!"

    So, that was Monday here in the Dominican Republic. We love you all and thank God for you. Even though you aren't here with us, you are a vital part of our team!

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