Thursday, June 28, 2012

Colorado Wildfires (Updated)

Will Nuenke is a young man who goes to Grace Chapel. His parents, Doug and Pam, are friends from my home church in Lawrence, KS, Grace Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Currently, Doug is the president of the Navigators ministry in Colorado Springs and recently the Nuenkes had to evacuate their home; the Navigator retreat and camp locations Glenn Eyrie and Eagle Lake Camp are being threatened (if not already overcome) by the wildfires. Above is an interview with Doug on Fox News. Please be in prayer for the Nuenke family as well as the people impacted dramatically by the fires. Another friend who lives in Colorado Springs emails:

The effects of these fires will be felt for years, if not decades. It saddens me that my kids will never know the mountains around here like I knew them. I've been utterly amazed by the heroism of the firefighters. Many local firefighters here lost their homes while they were saving others'. Their incident command is near our office and we pass through their check point every day and see their tent camps and I can't imagine how they do it. The outpouring of support by the community here has been so heart warming and has made me proud.

Updated Portion: Will Nuenke texted me about an hour ago (it's almost 11am now), "Prayer, prayer prayer. We found out our home is gone because of the fire."

Saturday, June 23, 2012

New Season in Blogging Practice?

Hi Friends,

Since returning from St. Louis in late May, I haven't been blogging a lot. This has been due to a couple of reasons: first of all, now that I'm about half way done with my coursework, I am needing to focus in more on a mini-project that is before me; this project is what we might call a mini-dissertation where I get some "practice" at writing the eventual dissertation. I'm spending most of my "degree time" thinking and working on a "question" I want to research for this mini-dissertation, which will be due sometime this fall. So the broadness of my reading has been put on hold for a little while, and so my blogging about various works has as well. As for what I have been reading lately, I've been reading quite a bit of Wendell Berry, since Jake Meador and I are co-leading a summer class through his collection of short stories That Distant Land. Also, I read recently a book on marriage I Married You by Walter Trobisch, also am working through John Frame's book The Escondido Theology: A Reformed Response to Two Kingdom Theology. Secondly, I haven't been blogging lately because my pastoral concerns have been particularly heavy as of late: yesterday I officiated a funeral for a 28-yr.-old woman whose wedding I performed less than three years ago. A few weeks back, I traveled to Lawrence, KS to participate in the funeral of a 32-yr.-old woman who was in my high school youth group back when Tanya and I did youth ministry back in the mid-90s. I'm particularly heavy-hearted after a string of heart-breaking shepherding situations at various levels among Grace Chapel folks, at the Presbytery level (our denominational churches in Nebraska) as well as outside of Grace Chapel. So, in a word, I haven't had much "juice" to blog much as of late. I've got great elders, a great associate pastor in Ben Loos, great wife, amazing kids, a great church family and through this degree program, I've found a couple of mentors, one in his 60s (Steve Garber) and another retired PCA pastor who is 74-yrs.-old (Paul Woodard), so God has been more than gracious to sustain me in this very difficult season. Prayers are much appreciated: anything you can muster, anything at all :-).

Blessings and thanks,


Thursday, June 14, 2012


I'm running a game of "elbow tag" here
I just returned from Walthll, NE last night. I spent a partial week serving the Omaha natives who live in Walthill. This was/is a remarkable week for many reasons (the work is in progress through Friday evening)- 34 people from Grand Island, Omaha, Lincoln, Atlanta and Dallas have come together to serve on the rez, located barely 2 hours north of Lincoln, NE. Yesterday, we ran a Vacation Bible School (VBS) for 57 kids. Grace Chapel has been in Walthill for five summers now (since 2008), and the growth of our VBS has been nothing short of explosive; even last year, we ran one VBS afternoon for 8 kids. While numbers aren't the point, nonetheless, it is exciting to see so many kids hearing the Bible stories and the Gospel of Christ. One boy who has stuck in my heart and mind these last five years is a kid named Sonny. Sonny is an 11-yr.-old and has always been among the first to try and memorize the Scripture verses at VBS- I pray that God would honor Sonny's eagerness to learn and raise up this young man to be a man of God. Pray with me for this work!

Present on the trip this year from Grace Chapel have been: Melissa Taylor, Sara Gronewold, Jane Gronewold, Ben Loos, Karma Larsen, Steve Allen, Jake Moore, Ben and Crystal Davy, Ben Unruh and Mike Hsu