Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Run For Really Old People

Finish Line!
Almost There!
"Go, Go, Go!" and "Yeah!"
Panda, Katy, Kenzie, Kenny and myself all cheered her on to the finish!

Yesterday evening was the annual Wesley Senior 5K, starting at 6:30 pm. The "Senior" 5k only welcomes runners who are 40 years old plus. My mom was run of the runners and finished well, better than her goal time! I helped set up and direct the course (fulfilling a 09 resolve), which was a new fun experience.
Good job, Mom!

"Two Sons Who Freed Me From My Fear of Death" by Tina Lichtlin, Crossroads

I have permission to share this powerful article/testimony written by Tina, a new leader at Crossroads. Praise God!

Two Sons Who Freed Me From My Fear of Death

Not very long ago I was afraid to die. Because of this very real and perpetually nagging fear, I spent a lot of hours worrying about things which I had no control over. I also spent some time putting together my “bucket list.” You know the one. That list of half outrageous feats and accomplishments that somehow if completed before I died, would define my life as a “success.” Get a college degree, write a best seller, learn another language, run a marathon, go skydiving (isn’t this one on everybody’s list?), travel around the world in a yacht, live in my dream home… get the picture. “You can do anything if you put your mind to it,” they tell us growing up. We hear it, we learn it, we live it and we pass this profound information onto the next generation of children so they can go out and conquer the world too. Though probably true, we can do just about anything we set our minds on, is this really what God wants from us?

My name is Tina. Only three years ago, I was a non-believer and I lived life afraid of death. I’m not exactly sure when or why the transition took place in my life but I think it occurred when I decided I wanted to be truly happy. I was already about as close to happiness as I thought a person was capable but it just wasn’t quite enough. I was married to my husband of 20 years, a wonderful man who provided for me and my 2 beautiful children. My daughter was in college and my son was nearly graduated from high school. We lived in a fabulous home, took lots of vacations and had just about everything a successful family could ask for. With all that I had, why did I still feel such a huge void in my life? Maybe it was time to get busy working on that bucket list! I quit my job to free up my time, worked part time for the family business and began researching the best way to go about writing a book. I began designing my dream home and got things in order to sell the house we currently lived in. I looked into local schools, thinking I would take some college courses, get started on that degree. I was the living a bucket list life! True happiness, I was sure, was just around the corner.

In the meantime, my 18 year old son started going to Crossroads Friends Church (a new Friends Church plant in Wichita, KS). I thought it was weird. I mean, what 18 year old boy just gets up one Sunday and decides, “I need church in my life”? He never really had it in his life before except for a couple failed attempts at Sunday school when he and my daughter were quite young. I figured surely it was a phase. He kept inviting me and my husband to come along. After every possible excuse, I finally broke down and decided I better find out what kind of “cult” had this super glue grip on my non-suspecting son. So I went. Everyone was very nice, they welcomed me at the door, fed me pastries and coffee, offered me information. I was very skeptical at first, thinking, “Okay, what’s the catch?” It seemed fairly normal, actually pleasant for the most part but I was uncomfortable with the music and figured I would eventually make that my excuse to stop coming if I couldn’t find a better one. One week led to another and then another. I got to like the music, I even started learning the words and listening to it in my car! Soon I was bringing Sunday morning pastries. I got to know people and actually made some friends. But it was still all very new and somewhat foreign to me.

Then one night, a little over a year ago, my son walked into my home office at about 10 o’clock after an evening with his Church Small Group. He looked me straight in the eye and said, “Mom, tonight at small group, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.” I must have looked at him like he had 3 heads! I had absolutely no idea what he was saying to me. I asked him what this meant. My son taught me several things that night in my office but what stuck with me most was when we said goodnight and he said simply, “I’ll pray for you, Mom.”

My son must have prayed very hard that night and for many weeks afterwards. In March of this past year, just before my fortieth birthday, after a life of skepticism, denial, deception and lies, also at small group like my son, I too accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. I have followed my own son down a path that has led me to the only truth which has set me free. Through the power of prayer, my very own child asked Christ to reveal Himself to me. And He did! Because my son loved me that much, he continued to pray for my salvation. I thank God everyday for my son and also for the salvation of His own son, Jesus Christ. If you take anything away from this story, I ask that you never underestimate the power of prayer!

I’m not sure what’s in store for me next, but I do know that God has a plan for me and no matter what he puts before me, I will neither celebrate nor suffer alone again. Because of my trust in the Lord, I no longer harbor the fear of death. So what does this mean for my bucket list? Well, it recently became very short! Today, the one and only thing I want to accomplish here on this earth before I die is to honor and glorify my God and Savior, Jesus Christ. If I can do that every day of my life, God will shower me with the greatest gift of all, the gift of everlasting life! I am still working on writing that book and at the end of this month, I will move into my dream home. But none of that would matter without the grace of God who provides it for me. That decision to find happiness that I spoke about earlier? God has provided that for me too. God provides everything and expects nothing in return except our trust and love. Tear up your bucket list! Release your fears! Replace them with glory and honor for Christ and you too will witness the strength, the power and the gifts that the Lord provides.

-Tina Lichtlin, Crossroads Friends Church, Wichita, KS

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Graduation Season

May should have it's own official season known as "graduation season", especially in youth ministry. I lost track a long time ago how many cards I've written, parties attended (and cake eaten!), and commencement ceremonies attended in the past few weeks.

Anyway, Shane (pictured between Jesse and I) had his high school graduation party in his shaded front yard on Saturday afternoon. Shane, who goes to Northridge, has been an occasional running buddy (to me that is, not Jesse) and friend.

Si Se Puede! Yes You Can! (LA Marathon, Memorial Day 2009)

Finish Line photo
cruising along around mile 10
start line
I ran the LA Marathon yesterday in 3:53:04 (my 3rd best marathon time ever) with my friends Justin Davis (Brea, CA) who finished with my identical time and Cletis Rogers who finished in 3:59:34. Clete was with Justin and I until around mile 21. I finished 1,205 out of 14,139 finishers (according to the website but that seems kind of high).

It was a fun and thrilling 26.2 mile "block party" on the streets of downtown Los Angeles. I saw and ran through so much cultural and ethnic diversity. I heard much more Spanish (and other languages) on the sides of the street than English! There were so many little hispanic children cheering "Si Se Puede! Yes You Can!" That made it really fun. The above photo was taken a few minutes before the start in the jam-packed starting line crowd.

ONE MORE NOTE: Something else I remembered about the LA Marathon that was really significant that I wanted to mention in my report - at the start line I sure saw a lot of young students who were lined up. It started to dawn on me that there were no shorter distances and all these kids were running the full marathon! I was guessing there there weren't just hundreds, but possibly even thousands of these students running the LA Marathon. I passed literally hundreds of them in the last half (some started out running way too fast!), talking to several, and encouraging as many as I could. I was so impressed by their stamina, resolve, determination and guts. One 16 year old kid from India told me how he trained for the marathon, how many languages he spoke, what his inner-city LA school was like and how much his knees hurt at mile 21!

From the SRLA website: ...more than 3,500 students participated in Students Run L.A. These students were 12 to 19 years of age, with the majority being high school students, ages 14 to 18. The students were a diverse group: 54% were male and 46% were female; and 75% were Latino; 13% were White; 7% were Asian; 3% were Black; and 2% were Pacific Islander, Native American, or of other ethnic backgrounds.

I thought this whole Students Run LA thing was pretty special:

Important Newsflash: Why Kansans Call It "Ar-kansas" River

Note: I was born in Great Bend, KS the "Arc" of the Ar-Kansas River (that once it arrives in the state of Arkansas correctly becomes the Arkansas (pronounced Arkansaw) River).

Saturday, May 23, 2009

May Garden Photos

I've worked hard in planting and keeping up with my gardens in the last month. Linda and Andrew have both helped me some. I also have my first ever vegetable garden* (just an "experiment"!; not-photo worthy) with corn, watermelon (I think, maybe), cucumbers (if I remember right?), green beans (possibly), tomatoes, strawberries, who knows what else (I have absolutely no clue where anything is!?) and a few petunias that I didn't have room for in my other gardens. My mom said, "What are you going to do, add some petunia blooms to your salad?" It will all look so, so much better come July! (*I did grow tomatoes in Chandler once. After they grew and were ready for harvesting, I didn't know what to do with them because I don't even like tomatoes! Many have asked me this year, why I am growing tomatoes? Well, it just seems like the thing to do!)

Extreme Camp Makeover

Extreme Camp Makeover continues...or as Matt now calls it, Extreme Camp Hangover! Trying to get everything done before next Saturday, May 30 when the first camp begins...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Linda's Pictures

Linda gave me this picture and said it was taken at her church!

The Best Sunset of the Year!

Saturday night's sunset after the storm!

Friday, May 15, 2009

'Way Back' Pictures (Andrew, Dad, and I)

Sabbath Retreat Pictures (2) and Report

Dear Friends,

Thanks so much for partnering with me in prayer for this week's Pastor's Sabbath Retreat. I returned home late last night, so I am exhuasted of course, but it is one of the most "refreshing" and "fulfilling" experiences of exhaustion that I have had for quite some time.

The Lord blessed us with wonderful weather during our time in Estes Park, which allowed everyone to take full advantage of the rest and renewal provided through the beauty of God's creation. We also enjoyed wonderful times of worship and fellowship together, as well as a number of spiritual exercises focused around the theme of listening to God, based on 1 Kings 19.

It was obvious from talking with others that by far the greatest benefit of a retreat like this one is simply the gift of time and space to "breathe" or "unwind" or "decompress." Most church leaders devote so much time and energy to serving others that they often neglect to take adequate time for themselves, so retreats like this one can be especially life-giving, if not life-saving.

I met with one brother, for example, who has had an unusually difficult and personally disappointing history in vocational ministry. In fact, he felt so defeated that he almost turned around and returned home before arriving in Estes Park. As we talked together towards the end of the retreat, he summarized his experience with this simple statement: "I have been rescued."

Praise God for His saving and sustaining grace, and for the gifts of rest, renewal and restoration. May you experience each of these realities in your own lives and ministries as you continue to follow hard after Him.

[Nearly every resource I cited during the retreat can be found on the Center for Spiritual Renewal website: The website can also be accessed through the Barclay home page ( by clicking on the "Center for Spiritual Renewal" link in the bottom right-hand corner. Those who are wanting to get a copy of the "Shalom Prayer" can go directly to the following website: (which is also included in the recommended resource page on the CSR website).]
Dave Williams

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Mother's Day 2009

To celebrate (early) Mother's Day, Andrew and I worked cleaning the gutters and then planting a flower bed for our mother last evening!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pre-Sabbath Retreat Prayer

I guess the people of God in the Old Testament had to do a lot of work to prepare for the Sabbath. So do we! I thought I'd pass along a letter from Dave Williams sent out to several people, requesting prayer for the upcoming Sabbath Retreat. (And the schedule below.) -Adam

Dear Friends,
As I prepare to lead a "Sabbath Retreat" for my fellow pastors next week in Colorado, I am keenly aware of the need for adequate prayer cover. The more I lead retreats like this one, the more conscious I am of the enemy’s desire to undermine any efforts we might make to help our spiritual leaders experience rest and renewal. I have experienced tangible resistance to the topic of Sabbath rest, in particular. This should come as no surprise, of course. If Satan can keep church leaders in a state of perpetual exhaustion, disillusionment and isolation, the rest of the body will tend to fall apart as well, i.e., “strike the shepherd, scatter the sheep” (cf. Mt 26:31).

With this in mind, I am writing to ask you if you might be willing to join me in prayer for this retreat, for each of our brothers and sisters who will be participating, for Gabe and Sarah as they lead worship, and for me as I offer teaching and spiritual direction. I am including a list of registrants below, and attaching a copy of the retreat schedule so you can pray more personally and strategically. Lord willing, this retreat will help each of us become better equipped to care for ourselves, not only for our own sake, but for the sake of those we are called to serve.

Thanks for your partnership in this vital ministry!

Dave Williams

2009 EFC-MAYM/RMYM Pastor's Sabbath Retreat registrations:
Dan & Janet Biernacki
David & Rochelle Bridges
Eldon & Gayle Cox
Tom Decker
Rich & Karen Miller
Darin Kearns
Dave Kingrey
Mark McDonald
Matt Macy
Adam Monaghan
Eric Linville
Charles & Vicky Orwiler
David & Jan Robinson
Charity & Richard Sandstrom
Ken & Lila Smith
Homer & Lois Smuck
Ben Staley
Lyle & Peggy Whiteman
Scott & Susan Rose
Jadon & Audrey Ross
John & Vicki Hinshaw
Francis & Bulah McKinney
Bill & Helen Powell
Forrest Brandt
Donnie & Rhonda Hinshaw
Gabe & Sarah Hancock
David Williams
Thayne Thompson
Gary Getting
Carol Whorton
Alfred & Mabel Lugalia
Eric & Lisa Mason
Jeff & Mary Naggell

Pastors Sabbath Retreat:
“Speak, Lord, for Your Servant Is Listening”
Discerning God’s Voice in an Age of Complexity and Confusion
May 11-14, 2009 - YMCA of the Rockies/Estes Park, Colorado

Sponsored by
Evangelical Friends Church-Mid America
Rocky Mountain Yearly Meeting
The Center for Spiritual Renewal at Barclay College

Monday, May 11:
4-6pm Check-in at Alpen Inn
6-7pm Supper Served
7:30pm Welcome Session
9-11pm Hospitality Room Open
Featuring Espressos by Thayne Thompson

Tuesday, May 12:
8-9am Breakfast Served
9:00am Morning Session w/ David Williams:
Discerning God’s Voice through Nature
12-1pm Lunch Served
1-6pm Free Time: Rest & Renewal
6-7pm Supper Served
7:30pm Evening Session w/ David Williams:
Discerning God’s Voice through Scripture
9-11pm Hospitality Room Open
Featuring Shakes & Malts by Gary Getting

Wednesday, May 13:
8-9am Breakfast Served
9:00am Morning Session w/ David Williams:
Discerning God’s Voice through Prayer
12-1pm Lunch Served
1-6pm Free Time: Rest & Renewal
6-7pm Supper Served
7:30pm Evening Session w/ David Williams:
Discerning God’s Voice through Community
9-11pm Hospitality Room Open
Featuring Limeades by Charity Sandstrom

Thursday, May 14:
7:30am Friends Ministers Fellowship Meeting
Everyone invited to participate
8-9am Breakfast
10:00am Check-out

Special thanks to Gabe & Sarah Hancock, who will be leading us in worship throughout the retreat.