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    Super Nanny Comes to Schwenksville

    Leanne and I are preparing for a “parenting discussion” group that we are hosting this fall. Here’s a clip from the advertisement that we put out to plug our group:

    Super Nanny Comes to Schwenksville!
    Parenting has got to be one of the toughest jobs. Wouldn’t it be great if you had the tools to help you succeed?
    Check out a discussion group designed just for you! Together, we’ll use clips from the ABC series, Super Nanny, to kickoff discussions about a variety of parenting topics.
    You’ll leave each week with practical advice from other parents, insights from the Bible, and a fun activity to try at home with your kids.
    Starting Tues., Sept. 18, 2007 and finishes up Nov., 13, 2007 at the home of Jon and Leanne Stolpe

    We’d love to know what you think. We’re finalizing discussion topics, questions, and take home applications as we speak.

    Until the next post….

    Keeping My Two Bosses Happy

    Our church is doing a three part series titled The Office. On Sunday, Matt Silver spoke about “Keeping My Two Bosses Happy.” The subject matter hit home for me, and I thought I might share my notes.

    First, we are designed to work. See Genesis 2:15, Proverbs 6:9-11, I Thessalonians 3:10, and Colossians 3:23.
    Matt used Philippians 2:3-4 as his main verse for asking the following questions:

    1. Who are you going to cheat?
    Implying that you can cheat your work or you can cheat your wife and your family, Matt used a quote from Andy Stanley’s book Choosing to Cheat that applied very well to this question.

    2. Are you cheating your family?
    How much time are you spending with your family. According to observations, fathers on average spend 37 seconds communicating with their children each day. That’s lousy!

    3. Are you cheating yourself?
    Physically, Spiritually, Emotionally – Lately, I feel like my physically gas tank is on the empty side of the “gas gauge.” I’ve been fighting a cold. My workouts have been few and far between the last three weeks or so do to work demands and involvement with Kids Camp.

    4. Are you sure your busy season will pass?
    It’s easy to convince ourselves that we won’t always be busy at work. Is this really true?

    At the conclusion, I walked away with the following priority list for the roles that I have. First, I’m a Christ follower. Second, I’m a husband. Third, I’m a dad. Fourth, I’m a project manager/engineer.

    Matt, thanks for the great reminders!

    Until the next post….

    Miller Family Reunion

    Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending my first Miller Family Reunion. This was a family reunion for my mother-in-laws family. (Interestingly enough, my mom’s maiden name is also Miller. Don’t worry. They are not related.) We had a wonderful time eating, talking, and playing together. The kids especially enjoyed the huge slide at Mammoth Park.

    I was amused by the business meeting which took place as part of this family gathering. Voting of officers, reading of last year’s meeting minutes, treasurer’s report, and discussion of next year’s time and place for reunion were all items discussed at the meeting. I learned that this reunion had been taking place every year since the 1930s. Amazing!

    The only part of this whole thing that I regret is that we didn’t make it to one of these reunions before Leanne’s grandma, Ruth Miller, passed away. I know she would have enjoyed showing off her granddaughter’s family to the rest of the Miller clan.

    I hope this is an event that becomes more regular for our family.

    Until the next post….

    Idlewild Park

    Yesterday, we went to Idlewild Park and Soak Zone located in Ligonier, PA. This little amusement park has been around for quite a while. In fact, my parents-in-law went there as children. The park boasts some old time rides along with a few new ones.

    Isaac took a couple of rides on his first roller coaster – Rollo Coaster. This is a great introduction to first time roller coaster riders as it is only 27 feet high and 900 feet long. I was encouraged by Isaac’s enthusiasm for the ride as it gives me hope that I may have a riding partner for other bigger coasters.

    Hannah especially enjoyed the water park and the rides that make me dizzy like Scrambler, Howler, and Tilt-A-Whirl. She also enjoyed pampering her cousin Maleah who was enjoying her first visit to Idlewild. Maleah enjoyed everything, but I think she liked the trolley ride through the Land of Make Believe the best.

    As for Leanne, she enjoyed a return visit to her former place of employment. She was especially fond of her surprise performance on the outdoor stage. Refer to Maleah’s blog to see a clip from her performance.

    I wasn’t feeling the best as I have been battling a post Kids Camp/Stretch cold, but I did enjoy the time with family.

    If you’re in western PA, I highly recommend checking out this fun amusement park. As a side note, you can bring your lunch/dinner and leave it under one of the many picnic pavilions. I was absolutely amazed that nobody bothers your stuff.

    Until the next post….

    Travels

    Tonight, I traveled across the state to be with Leanne, the kids, my parents-in-law, my sister-in-law, and my niece. It was a nice quiet trip in the car with Iso (our black lab), and a great reunion with family. I’m looking forward to a couple of days of rest, relaxation, and family fellowship. We return on Saturday night in time for church and for dropping Hannah off for her first over night all week camp.

    Until the next post….

    I Want To Be In On It

    Here’s a passage that I read earlier today from I Corinthians 9. As a dabbler in running since high school, I have always identified with 24-26. However, when I read this passage again today taken from The Message version of the Bible, I was especially inspired by Paul‘s words in the verses that precede this. I want to be in on the Message.

    19 Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of
    everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in
    order to reach a wide range of people: 20 religious,
    nonreligious, 21 meticulous moralists, loose-living
    immoralists, 22 the defeated, the demoralized–whoever. I
    didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in
    Christ–but I entered their world and tried to experience things
    from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of
    servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a
    God-saved life. 23 I did all this because of the Message. I
    didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!
    24 You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race.
    Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. 25 All good athletes train
    hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades.
    You’re after one that’s gold eternally. 26 I don’t know about
    you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it
    everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! 27 I’m staying
    alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping,
    telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.

    I hope to press on toward the prize. I want to win the race. I want to hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

    Until the next post….

    In the Hood

    Well, we may finally be getting new neighbors in our tiny little “subdivision.” This is an exciting event in our house as we have been praying that God would send us neighbors who we could have a positive influence on for Christ or who could be a positive influence along with us in our semi-neighborhood. (We’ve also been praying that there might be a boy Isaac’s age for him to pal around with.) This brings to mind a question, “how can we be light in our neighborhoods?” I’d love to hear your thoughts, and here are some of mine:

    1. Be available. Be around. Don’t be a stranger. Take walks, bike rides, etc. in the neighborhood, and stop whenever you get the chance just to chat.

    2. Be yourself. Eventually the word will probably get out that you’re a Christ follower. People far from God need to see you in your successes and failures. How we respond to both of these can have a huge impact on our neighbors.

    3. Be inviters. Have a party at your house. Take a neighborly trip down to the local ice cream parlor. Maybe even invite them to your church or an event at your church.

    4. Be in prayer. Pray without ceasing for those in your neighborhood that they might find the hope of Christ and that it might become real and active in their lives.

    These are just a few of my thoughts on the whole thing.

    Until the next post….

    Exhausted

    Thankfully, I took today off, because I am exhausted.

    Last night, we wrapped up Stretch. Between Kids Camp and Stretch, I believe we had 1000 different kids at our camp. It was really cool. I especially appreciated the chance to hang out with other volunteers at Stretch. We are so blessed at our church to have committed people who get it. What I mean by this is that they understand why we do events like these and why we do them with excellence. It’s not about putting on the best event in the area, so we can say we’re the best. It’s all about drawing people in our area to a fun activity where they will be challenged to examine and change their lives.

    I spoke to several parents yesterday at church who were so thankful for camp and who seemed very interested in coming back to check out our church again. I pray that they do, and their lives are challenged and changed as a result.

    Tomorrow, it’s back to work. I’m sure I’ll be tired, but I’m also sure I’ll have a reinvigorated outlook as I interact with my colleagues.

    Until the next post….

    Stretch Night One Reflection

    Last night, we had 173 sixth through eighth graders attend our church’s Stretch Camp. It’s been truly amazing to see our volunteers working hard together to pull off back-to-back huge community events. One of my “highlights” of the evening was watching a kid tossing his cookies after a ride on what I had earlier referred to as the “Puke Machine” (I think it’s real name is Twinspin). I especially had a blast talking to some of the volunteers who I really didn’t know that well.

    Plans for today include running a few errands to get ready for Hannah’s first all-week-over-night camp. It’s hard to believe that we’re at this stage already. Hopefully, a nap will fit in sometime this afternoon before I head back to church for our 2nd night of Stretch camp. Sleep deprivation and fatigue are setting in, but it is so worth it…

    Until the next post….

    Kids Camp Day Three – Start of Stretch

    OK, we just finished day three of kids camp, and it was incredible. I had 26 fourth graders back to have fun and to learn more about trusting God. Today specifically, we talked about “treasure.” Our verse today was from Matthew 6:21: “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” It was awesome to see kids professing the need to put God first in their lives before all the other stuff like video games, trampolines, dogs, TV, etc. I heard we had around 665 kids again today. What an experience.

    I just got home for a quick shower and half hour break before heading back over to the building for Stretch. I have the privilege again this year to lead the games team. It should be a blast. We have laser skirmish, a “puke” machine, a maze, hoops, a huge video game room, and inflatable maze, volleyball, table games, … I’ll let you know more later. I gotta run.

    Until the next post….