Phil Zarn’s Article

Phil Zarns – our missionary to Sweden and my friend – just had an article published in Relevant Magazine.   Phil is learning the Swede language, and this article will give you insight into what he is going through.  Check it out by clicking on http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god_article.php?id=7570

Each month our church sends financial support to Phil.    We are proud to support Phil and his wife Katja!

On Thursday, we will make our first presentation of the HAT program to a deserving teacher at Beech High School in Hendersonville.   HAT stands for Honor A Teacher.  Kim Driver is the visionary behind this program.    Students who attend The Church at Indian Lake nominated their favorite teacher, then we drew a name in service for a teacher to receive gift basket worth $500.   It will be great to give this away tomorrow.  If you are interested in bringing this program to you church, let me know and I’ll get you in touch with Kim.

Sunday’s Miracle

If you missed Sunday’s service, we had a very unique and powerful day.   After my message on Why Darfur Matters, Paul Jackson took the microphone, and he challenged the church to raise $12,000 for the “water solutions” project in Darfur TODAY.

After the service concluded, many people came to Paul and joined his offering to raise $8,800 on the spot.   In addition to that miraculous offering, another person offered to make up the difference to bring our total to $12,000!!!

We will be sending a $12,000 check to our missionaries this week so they can bring fresh water to a village in Darfur.  This will save lives, and lead people to Jesus.

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about this . . . Sunday was a dream come true for me!

A Study Day with Darfur Issue

Thursday was my study day, and I prepared for this Sunday’s talk on Why Darfur Matters.  I had studied this issue last year, and so most of my day was a review of what I had already read.  Specifically, I re-read Not On Our Watch by Don Cheadle and John Prendegast.   Looking at this issue again re-ignited the passion against genocide and made me glad that our church is going to engage in this tragic issue.  It also was also a reminder that when we are not exposed to an issue, how quickly we forget.

Pray with me that we hear God’s heart for the people of the Darfur region during our service this Sunday.

On Thursday evening Beth and I went to dinner at Paul and Deborah Jackson’s home in Lebanon.   They have a beautiful new home, and we enjoyed the “fondu” they provided.  Paul, who has extensive experience in promotions and event planning, will be helping me with I Want to Lead.

Free Father Advice

I know I am not an experienced father, but I am going to share one tip to any parent who happens to come across this blog.   As recently as 6 months ago, I felt like I didn’t have anything in common with my 6 year old son.  He was obsessed with High School Musical, The Jonas Brothers, and he had little interest in any kind of sport or other areas of interest I share with his older sister .   At that time, here is the honest truth  – I didn’t care! I tried to get into his world, and I loved him for who he was, not insisting that he become a miniature “me.”   Well, something has changed over the last couple of months.  He doesn’t just look like me, he is acting more like me.  He asked me tonight if we could watch a documentary on Jimmy Carter after he finished homework.  This is from a six year old!    As we cuddled on the couch over a PBS special, I was thankful that I didn’t build a wall between us during a time when we had complete different interest.   I am sure this story will cycle again in our lifelong friendship, so I hope I remember this valuable lesson as time progresses.

A great Scripture I ran across today . . .
And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left” – Isaiah 30:21(The Amplified Bible).

A Christian Perspective on the Financial Crisis

Great new today on the bounce back in the stock market.  Good to finally hear some good news.

A Christian Perspective on the Financial Crisis
The best article I have read explaining the financial crisis of our country that lead to the $700 Billion governement bail out is by a Christian writer named Michael Craven.    For an excellent Christian perspective, check out the article The Financial Crisis: Lessons on the virtue of thrift.  I was particularly taken by this observation from Michael’s Article:

Instead of institutions committed to the principles of thrift, the market is now flooded with predatory institutions and parasites who prey on the naïve, desperate, and irresponsible, such as “subprime credit card issuers, mortgage brokers, rent-to-own merchants, payday lenders, auto title lenders, tax refund lenders, private student-loan companies, franchise tax preparers, check cashing outlets and the state lottery” (Ibid.). God, who has compassion on the poor, calls this “oppression” and describes it as an “abomination” (see Ezek. 18:13).

Like everything in life this comes back around to a spiritual issue.    This is a time we all need to take a fresh look at how we live.

A New Family Picture / Weekend Recap

I enjoyed our service on Sunday, though it is always a little strange when my three children didn’t greet me before service like they customarily do.  They are with Beth, visiting there grandmother in Kentucky.  This is the latest picture of them that was taken while on their trip.  I love this picture.   I am blessed!

I enjoyed a pick up game of football with the men of Indian Lake after church.  No hamstring pull!  Yea!

I then had a nice time with the Young Adult group at my house.   I am discovering that this is an important part of my call I cannot shake – investing in the life of young people.

Over the last few years, I have averaged about two out of town trips a month for various reasons.  I just realized that I have not left town (with the exception of the Staff Retreat for one night) for over three months.   This may be a record for me, but I am not complaining!

Another Scripture I believe is for God’s people during this season – Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared. Proverbs 3:25-26

Saturday Recap / The Financial Bailout

Saturday Recap
I had one of the more relaxing Saturdays I can remember.  I missed my family very much, but enjoyed a day of solitude.   I spent a lot of the day enjoying football, while setting up a new blog-site at http://www.aaronallison.com.   I know that it will be a pain for my readers to re-subscribe, but I think the change will be worth it.

The Financial Bailout
I am disappointed about the $700 Billion Government bail out.  None of our leaders could articulate why we were doing this, and they used closed-door meetings to rush through a massive philosophical change in our government without any meaningful public dialogue.   The initial reports do not show that it has been helpful.  We’ll have to wait and see.

Quote #6
Washington
(instead of New York City) is now the financial capital of the world . . . Hank Paulson is the CEO of the United States. – Erin Burnett of CNBC, Meet The Press – September 21, 2008

7 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. 8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank,with roots that reach deep into the water.  Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. – Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT)

Taming the Tongue / Sewanee – The University of The South

I am excited about my message this Sunday . . . Taming The Tongue.    The Scripture says so many good things about our words, and I have been personally challenged as I have prepared for Sunday.

I originally thought this would be a low Sunday since it is Sumner County’s Fall Break.  However, I have not heard of many people who have left town, so I am feeling more optimistic about what our attendance will be.

Two wees ago on our staff retreat we visited Sewanee, TN, which contains The University of the South.   We made the five minute drive from our bed and breakfast in Monteagle to the campus, and we discovered a little sliver of Europe right in the middle of rural Tennessee.  The campus for The University of the South is gorgeous, especially All Saints Chapel.   Beth took some incredible pictures of All Saints Chapel.   Also, there is a huge white cross visible to the community that we visited one evening.  You will see David and me at the foot ot the cross to give you an idea of how larget the structure is.