Acts of the Church 1

Garnett Church of Christ is going through an important movement right now. We are selecting new elders, we are selling our building, and we are seeking some restructuring in our staff to more fully live out our mission “to invite all people into Christ-centered lives.” We believe all people–inside and outside of the church, staff, elders, members, non-Christians–must take steps closer to Jesus. We want to become less self-centered and more Christ-centered everyday.

As part of this new movement in our church, we are returning to the roots of the church in the book of Acts in the New Testament. So January 19, we began a new preaching series on Acts, then directly after the worship at 10, we are digging deeper into study of the book of Acts in an all-church auditorium class.

In this auditorium class I’m teaching like I taught in villages in Uganda. Different men, women, teenagers will read the text we are studying, some will go out of the room to practice a skit they come up with to act out the text, others will ask good questions of the text. We will pray over the text, be confessional, ask our honest questions, be willing to say, “I don’t know,” and focus on questions that help us become more Christlike.

During this study, we are also looking for themes about leadership, because our elder selection process calls for study of elder qualifications and selection. Acts contains good stories about how the early church selected leaders.

Sunday we enjoyed laughter, good questions, and a skit by three men–Conner Fields, Clarence Davis, and John Dickmann–that showed how the apostles prayed, asked the Holy Spirit to direct them, nominated two men, then drew straws to select one man to replace Judas so there would be twelve apostles, symbolic of the twelve tribes and a continuation of Christ’s selection of twelve apostles who would lead the first church.

Here are the questions class participants asked with any comments I can give right now.

  1. Where does it say 120 followers? (Acts 1:15)
  2. Should non-apostles cast lots to make decisions? While the idea of apostolic succession has been strong in the Catholic Church, in order to keep biblical interpretation and direction of the church strong, the weakness of this approach is that it leaves the 99% of non-apostolic leaders weak. I believe Christ left us the Holy Spirit to fill us and lead local communities of followers, and apostolic succession tends to rely on men and not the Holy Spirit.
  3. How were lots cast? This can be easily looked up online. I don’t know exactly how, but it was a kind of chance, like drawing straws or throwing dice, but the apostles nominated, prayed, then considered this method the word of the Lord.
  4. Is this the last time angels appear in the New Testament? Not the last time there is a vision (Peter received a vision and heard “a voice” in Acts 10; Paul received a vision from Jesus, later “a man” telling him to go to Macedonia, then a messenger to encourage him, “I have many people in this city,” one time when he was discouraged.
  5. Is Acts the last book written chronologically in the New Testament? No, written around AD 64, and books were probably written from AD 50 – 94.
  6. Why is Judas’s death account again added to Acts and does it agree with what’s in the gospels. Acts is more of a commentary and reason given for needing to choose another man.
  7. Who are the women disciples? Acts 1:14 says “women and Mary the mother of Jesus.” It’s significant that the women are mentioned, that women would take a role in the new church, an increasingly important idea throughout the gospels, with Jesus often interacting with women, women following, caring for Jesus, being the first to witness and tell of the resurrection.
  8. Why so little written about the 40 days of appearing? We find some mention and additional stories in the gospels, particularly John’s gospel (John 20-21), very powerful stories.
  9. What was the difference between John’s baptism and the baptism the church practiced beginning in Acts 2. For a discussion of this, see the book I co-authored with John Mark Hicks, Down in the River to Pray. Basically, John’s baptism was about preparation for the Messiah and repentance. The baptism in Acts is baptism characterized by three important things: into the name, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, for forgiveness, and to impart the Holy Spirit.
  10. What is the significance of the twelve apostles? Without a doubt the twelve was a significant number because of the famous 12 tribes of Israel, so it’s no accident that Jesus selected 12 apostles, and it’s no accident the apostles wanted to remain 12 as long as possible as the new church began.
  11. Was there an apostle from each tribe? I don’t think so; this is not explicitly said or denied in Scripture, but these guys are not the famed patriarchs of their tribes but fishermen, tax collectors, and they probably would not have been considered as leaders of tribes at that point in Jewish history, but I have not researched this good question much.

Next week I’ll preach on “An Acts 2 Church” and we’ll look at what it means to be an Acts 2 Church more deeply in our class, act out the pentecost events, and ask more good questions. See you next week.

Between fear and hate: a response to shooting in our church

This 9:32 minute audio is Greg Taylor’s response given the morning after a shooting inside the building of the church where he preaches, Garnett Church of Christ.

Click on play button to listen

We chose the following media link because it more effectively shows the Hmong community response.

Shooting at Hmong Party in Tulsa

The Hmong leader interviewed in the story, Linda Lor, had just spoken to me minutes before she was interviewed on camera and she assured me that the Hmong community is coming together, that this is a wake up call for them and for us in many ways to pay closer attention to Hmong (and all) youth, anger, forgiveness, love. She said, “this shooting was due to an unforgiven grudge,” a targeted shooting toward one man in particular within a family clan.

That clan is planning a gathering at our church this weekend. Please pray for love to reign in this place where a shooting took place last weekend.

The audio above states what we want to say for now: blessings, prayers, support, love for and to the Hmong community. We also want to thank all those in our church and community and the nation who have been praying for us here. We feel and value your prayers and know the Holy Spirit is working through us as we seek to respond in ways that Christ would want us to respond, not with fear nor with hate but with love for all, including those who try to do us harm.

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A Step Toward Unity

The following is the text of my sermon delivered Sunday, August 21, 2011 in which my goal was to motivate Garnett make a choice to fellowship Connection Church and partner in children’s ministry.

I want to help each of us–our church–take one step closer to other Christians in our city and learn to live out the prayer of Jesus in John 17:20-23, our scripture text for today.

To do this, I want to start with a story . . .

Rewind to the early 80s in Bartlesville High School . I’m arguing with a Baptist over “once saved always saved” and “worship styles.” One issue hasn’t been solved in 2,000 years and one is a red herring (worship styles) that doesn’t deserve our distraction.

When I got to college, I’m not sure what Jill saw in me, but I was a judgmental pharisee who profiled sinners. I rejected Christians of other kinds. Maybe she loved the way I dressed.

In graduate school, the more I learned about God, the church, my own sin, the less it seemed I know about this incredible God and his world.

I read studies about church growth, one said combining efforts with other churches doesn’t seem to cause churches to grow. So I became indifferent to unity efforts.

Over the years I’ve lived with Mennonites, played basketball with Catholic Priests, and worshipped with Nazarenes and Baptists.

I grew through these experiences and have learned so much from many Christians of many stripes. Does this mean I swallowed everything whole from everyone I met? No. Neither do I swallow the bones when I eat a whole fish. Eat. Spit out the bones.

I’ve moved from rejection to tolerating to indifference to mere acceptance to learning from other Christians.

And just when I thought the Holy Spirit had moved me far enough, Jesus had fed me quite enough humble pie, I read Jesus’s prayer in John 17:20-23.

    20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 
What are we supposed to do with the prayer of Jesus? And who’s he talking about? Other churches like ours? Other churches like ours didn’t exist until 1,800 years after Jesus worded this prayer. So we live it out more broadly but how?

Read and pray it again at each stage in life. It keeps changing me each year.

And the more our church reads and prays Jesus’s prayer, the more the Holy Spirit moves and changes us.

In the last decade we’ve hosted Believer’s Church and a dozen more and now host five.

But some of your stories are like mine. You have this little buzzer that goes off when the door of unity cracks open and you feel anxious like the door is going to blow you over and kill you.

But there’s this prayer of Jesus. What do we do with it? Keep praying it. And there’s this prayer we keep praying every week. What does it mean if not that we are seeking a kingdom bigger than ourselves and just our church?

If our church is a grain of sand, the kingdom is all the sand on every beach in all the world. It’s the rule and reign of God that every church must come under, not people like me, not church traditions.

And these days it seems lots of people keep knocking on our door believe God is doing something big here. Beth West says she loves being here because God keeps bringing amazing opportunities to our doorstep . . . literally.

Today I want to tell you about one of those opportunities, and then call you to make a decision.

There is a 2-year-old church called Connection Church that meets in Rosa Parks Elementary School.

For many reasons, they needed to find another meeting place.

This became such a quest for the pastor of this church, that he developed anxiety attacks.

So he decided to go on a 40-day fast.

He became so hungry during this fast, and he came across these words of Jesus in John 4:34: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me to finish his work . . . open your eyes and look at the fields. They are ripe for harvest. The sower and reaper are working together to reap a harvest of eternal life. Thus the saying goes, One sows and the other reaps is true. So . . . I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

What could this mean? Others in the church had sensed that God wanted Connection Church to do something big, like two sides of a civil war coming together in unity.

Brad began to believe that God was leading Connection Church to come alongside another church in some way but he didn’t know how.

Rewind 15 years. Brad and his wife Laura used to live in East Tulsa. When driving home from their church they would pass Garnett. Traffic was stopped and we were pouring out on the 2-lane road. He nicknamed our church, “The Church That Stops Traffic.” Sometimes it’s a bit embarrassing how other people see us.

Well, back to this year–just a few months back Brad was driving by our church again, feeling anxious, praying, and something or someONE said, “Go in.” Really, uh, go in the “Church That Stops Traffic”?

He felt a strong urge to come in, and there he met Kay Hanna who then introduced Brad to our staff and to me.

That was Spring this year, and since then we’ve gotten to know each other through lots of conversations and dreaming and praying.

Jill and I, Brad and Laura met one night for three hours at a Subway, just wondering why God somehow brought us together. Our staffs had lunch at LaMansion. Our Children’s Ministries of Garnett and Connection Church even met to discuss how to love and teach children better because we’d discovered in talking that we use the same curriculum.

We found our common ground of being called to East Tulsa and people needing the Lord here gave us confidence that Connection Church meeting here would be a great fit.

They really liked Phillips Hall and our Children’s Hall, so after months of prayer and discussion in their church and getting to know us, Connection Church would like to begin meeting for their worship on Sundays at 11 am in Phillips Hall.

Basically their worship would start about the time we’re going out to classes.

They do not have adult classes but do have a separate kids worship/class time during their adult worship.

So then we had a problem. We do our classes at the same time now–11:15 am.

Could both churches compromise their times and move their worship times . . . so am I asking you to change the time we meet again? No. Think bigger.

And that’s what we tried to do. Think bigger kingdom of God than just our churches. What is God calling us to do?

Well, the Children’s Ministry team came together and I put the problem to them . . . Then one of them said, “Since we use the same curriculum and we have space, why don’t we have combined classes for our children?”

What? Wow . . . What church does that? Do we even have a model for that? Sure we’ve had churches meet here for a decade but we’ve never combined something as important as children’s classes or long-term teaching.

If that was going to be a proposal that would fly, we had more due diligence to do.

One thing is that we need to know who they are and what they believe. Watch this video and our ushers will pass out a page with our core beliefs and theirs on the other side.

This video is great and feel good–in fact, they have baptized more people in the last year than we have. New church plants seem to reach people more effectively and I want to see how revival can come to our church and for both churches to grow in numbers, baptisms, and spiritually in every way.

Another piece of that due diligence is for the elders of each church to be aware and make congregations aware of the core beliefs of each church, so if we do anything together, we know what we are dealing with.

So we put together a page, front and back, that has our core beliefs and Connection Church’s core beliefs, and we want you to look it over.

Connection Church, as you can see on the handout, is based out of the Nazarene Church. Our beliefs are a lot alike. Not exactly, but two Churches of Christ couldn’t write two exact papers if they tried. Still, these core beliefs are vital to each church. We keep our distinct identities, beliefs. We are stubborn about that and so is Connection Church. I’ve heard them talk about it. In matters of faith, unity, in matters of opinion, liberty. In all things charity.

Now, you may be asking, “Are we talking about combining churches?” Nope. Having joint worship? Nope. But if you want to worship together with Connection Church–go for it. This is a great way to continue our commitment on Sundays to the heritage value of acappella worship while also giving an opportunity for worship with Connections Church that has a praise band.

Or you might be wondering, “Is one church taking over the other?” Absolutely not. If both churches took the step one day of dissolving their denominational ties into union with the Kingdom of God, Jesus Christ is the authority who takes over–you might think that’s quaint or naive, but I’m talking about Jesus’s teachings and life being the shaping factor for everything rather than squaring up everything according to traditions and heritage of denominations.

Others of you might be saying, “When did we ever get asked our opinion about this?” We have talked extensively about this with our shepherds, staff, and several of you in the congregation including children’s team and others.

You may think, “Greg, why don’t you tell us these things sooner so we can either get excited or shoot you down?” You wouldn’t like it very much if I brought you current on every thought in my head before it bakes. We as leaders have to do some due diligence before bringing an idea to you, then still ask for input, wisdom, and then we still have to come back and make a decision as a leadership team.

What our Children’s Team has decided is that they are willing to try this. Our Children’s team excels in teaching. Connection Church excels in vision and direction of Children’s Ministry, so our people want to teach and Connection wants to use that curriculum we both use and set a big vision for teaching kids Bible foundations and leading them to Christ. We’ll do that a little different in our church, families, but the Holy Spirit will help us work that out.

Some may be saying, “Well, it’s already decided, so what’s the choice?” The church meeting here is part of a decade-ago decision by leadership before most of us were even here. The choice we have today is this:

Connection can be just another church that meets here . . .

Or they can be your friends and perhaps your brothers and sisters in Christ.

And do you have a choice to say something about the proposal our leaders and children’s team and Connection has been simmering on, to combine children’s teaching time on Sunday? Yes, we want you to ask hard questions, pray about this, give us your input in the month before Connection Church comes to meet. How should we go about decisions for Christ differently in each church? What is the Bible teaching plan for the children.

You have a chance today right after our worship here in the auditorium during our ScreamFree class to ask questions and give comments.

What would we ultimately be teaching our kids by example? We would be teaching our kids something they can get in few other places on the planet: two churches could come together and teach the basics of the faith that leads to decisions for Christ, baptisms, and fully devoted followers of all ages, and be unified in that.

Does Connection Church want that for their kids and adults? You bet. Do we? You better you better you bet.

Connections Church has chosen to believe there is something incredible happening here and they want to be part of it with us.

Once again it’s interesting to see how others view us. Connection Church sees us as a body of Christ unwilling to give up on the dream of people far from God becoming fully devoted followers right here in East Tulsa.

Now, I want you to see how excited Brad is for the church coming here along with a hundred and a half Christian servants who will be shining their light for Christ here.

http://vimeo.com/connectionwired/greencountryeventcenter

Connection Church believes they are “Movin’ On Up” and their plan is to begin meeting here Sunday, Sep 25.

Connection Church wants to help us rebuild. I have to say honestly that part of this sounds intimidating or offensive to me, that another church would take a step beyond just needing a place to saying they really want to help us grow and rebuild. They want to come alongside of us and reach people far from God and help them become fully devoted followers and run to the poor and hopeless and give them hope in Christ.

As Beth West said, “What a beautiful picture of the unified body of Christ this is! Not without a good dose of tension that is healthy as well, to hold to convictions yet be open to the Spirit’s leading.

One thing we’re learning as people either far from God or very close knock on our door is that sometimes what we’re called to do is get out of the way and say, “OK God, do your thing.”

Is God bringing the harvest that Brad had read and prayed about, the words of Jesus in John 4? Is God calling us to live out his prayer for unity in John 17? I think we’re going to be blown away by what God wants to do here, but it’s going to take more reapers. We’ve been here holding on, and I truly believe that God is telling us, “Look at the harvest of 10s of thousands of souls, people who come here every day who need the Lord.” The fields are white here in East Tulsa.

What Connection Church Believes

1. We believe in one God revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

2. We believe in Jesus Christ. Born of the Virgin Mary, he suffered and died on a cross, and was raised to life. By his death on the cross he made a full atonement for all sin.

3. We believe that everyone has sinned, fallen short of God, and is separated from him. Whoever repents of their sin and believes on the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved.

4. We believe in the Spirit surrendered life. Christ followers are called to submit their lives fully to the Holy Spirit.

5. We believe in the Holy Bible. The scriptures are the inspired Word of God and contain all truth for all mankind.

6. We believe in the Church universal. The body of Christ is called by God to worship together and join in the redemptive work of Christ in the world.

7. We believe in baptism. Baptism is the declaration of ones faith in Jesus Christ.

8. We believe in the Lord’s Supper. Communion is the remembrance and appreciation of Christ’s death on the cross.

9. We believe in divine healing: We believe in the prayer of faith to heal the sick.

10. We believe Jesus Christ will return, the dead will be raised, and the final judgment will take place.
The ICN has over 1.8 million members worldwide and ministers in 159 world areas.
The ICN continues to be one of the largest missionary sending denominations.

What Garnett Church of Christ Believes

God
We believe God is the creator and ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities–God the father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit.

Jesus Christ
We believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He came to earth and lived a perfect life, as God and man. Through his death, burial, and resurrection we can claim eternal life, freedom from sin, and access to God. Through faith in Jesus Christ we become children of God.

Holy Spirit
We believe that the Holy Spirit is a gift from God and lives in the heart of each believer. The Holy Spirit’s power is to help each Christian to understand and accomplish God’s will. He is our comforter that provides peace in times of loss, grief and despair. The Holy Spirit works through the Bible and the body of believers to guide us, reveal God’s plan for us and bring Glory to our heavenly Father.

God’s Word
We believe that the Bible is God’s word to us. Human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit wrote the Bible. It is the supreme source for Christian beliefs and living. It is the only written authoritative voice of God on the earth.

Baptism
We believe that baptism is a part of the salvation experience. We believe in the practice of baptism by immersion in water.

Salvation
We believe that all mankind is sinful and falls short of God’s glory. We can never make up for our sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by following Jesus Christ can we enjoy the benefits of salvation.

Communion
We believe in observing the Communion as a way of celebrating what Jesus did for us on the cross and anticipating His return.

Love
Our faith in God is displayed in our love for each other.

Accepting Students

Avatar: The Last Airbender (season 3)

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Last night as we sat at Leon’s eating $5 very good pizzas with the Garnett youth group–Thanks, Amy!–I thought once again about how cool these students are who allow their preacher and Jill to hang out with them on occasion and also accept young padawan Jacob, my son, into the group. They could think I’m too old and he’s too young but this is one of the most accepting, serving, loving bunch of young people I know.

Thanks for who you are and what you do. The guys were heading back to the Youth Hall for an Avatar: the Last Airbender (cartoon version) marathon and even asked me to join them. I of course am a purist Avatar (blue guys) fan only but in the spirit of acceptance, I do accept these guys and their Last Airbending ways.

Shine brightly today

I’m in Owasso this am for a meeting and over the hill to the East the sun is rising. I’m reminded of one of our readings last night in the congregational meeting at Garnett. We gathered to take another step into The Story and read passages to one another from Judges.

In particular some of the ladies read from Deborah‘s Song (Judges 5). Seeing the sun at dawn, I’m reminded of the last line we paused to concluded with last night. I want to encourage us today with this verse.

“But let everyone who loves you shine brightly like the sun at dawn.”

One problem is that you must know the context of this verse, and it may spoil the above verse for you, but more importantly perhaps it will draw you and me more into the amazing story of God and his people. Jon Hart knocked it out of the park Sunday when he preached in my place on the Judges. You are indeed a Jedi, Jon.

So back to the line before this colorful scripture I quoted above about the sun. The preceding line says, “O Lord, may all our enemies die like Sisera.” Deborah and Barak are singing about “Jael and the nail,” an old Neal Pryor-ism. Look it up (Judges 5:24-31).

Walls Fall Down Around Our Hearts

Sunday we gathered to experience the next chapter of The Story. We marched seven times around the worship center symbolizing our participation with the Israelites as they conquered Jericho.

I encourage the church to neither take these battle stories as our stamp of approval for every kind of war our nation might make on other nations, nor to try and “clean up God” as some scholars have done by claiming these texts were not from inspiration but inventions of the Jews and God was invoked to justify their atrocities. Instead, I encourage us–as my grandmother and the Beatles say–to “let it be.” Let the text say what it says and live in the tension of God’s grace on a prostitute named Rahab and his justice for Jericho and also the Israelite Achan and his family. Rahab harbored illegal aliens and was blessed for it, and Achan stole from the spoils–a Babylonian robe and gold and silver–of Jericho when God’s command was to destroy everyone and everything. “Let it be” means to let the story be and don’t rush to try and fix the violence or make God into our image or to fit into the shape of our sensibilities.

But on this day we were marching in honor and to uphold God’s gold standard. We had a “standard”–a gold banner on a T bar–and a few dozen volunteers marched around the perimeter of the worship center, sometimes chanting spontaneously, as people who like Joshua believe that God’s word is truth and we must obey it. For we discovered more than a warrior, Joshua is featured as one who obeys and leads Israel to obey what God says. And God keeps his word. If God keeps his word, so we should be people who keep his word.

But we don’t keep our word. I stand as an example of a person who has failed to keep his word many times, failed to obey. But God does not fail to keep his covenant. He is faithful. We walked with the gold standard not of our faithfulness–for we are a stiff-necked people like Israel (Deuteronomy 9:5-6)–but of God’s faithfulness.

We walked with a second banner–a purple one symbolizing our covenant with God–with this I encouraged all who want the walls of their hearts to come down. Pride. Shame. Self-centeredness. Walls of depression, sin, fear. We are people who obey, and so we walked with a second standard of the covenant we are to obey.

Seven times around our auditorium is about one mile. When some of the people started, they did not realize this. One man had to take a break and others helped him along. Another said he was honored to “do this for the Lord” . . . he said he was beaten and left for dead ten years ago and doctors said he would never walk again. Today he walked in honor of a faithful God.

As we completed the last circuit (the church walls did not crash in but many hearts did), we walked together to the table of the Lord and shared communion together as people of the word of God and his faithfulness who are broken and beautifully redeemed.

It was a beautiful day together with the body of Christ. We’d love to have you be with us in the coming weeks.

We are telling the story together in many ways. Many have walked, read scripture, told stories of how The Story is impacting them and changing their lives, many are preaching in my place. James Lawrence preached and others will be preaching in coming weeks, including Jeff McIlroy, Jon Hart, Marvin Phillips, Tim Herbel, Lance Newsom. Jo Morton and the Breaking Free Ladies class will also share their experiences of how the Breaking Free class is intersecting with The Story.

Water4Uganda Video

Can water wells be dug by hand? Yes, that have for centuries. Can a 6 inch diameter bore hole be drilled by hand and hit water? Until now, most people would say no, you need a drilling rig.

Enter Water4, Dick Greenley, Chris Cotner, and Steve Stewart. Two years ago, my friend Chris King introduced me to these guys and a new project called Water4, a not-for-profit based out of Pumps of Oklahoma in OKC, OK. I’ve been around water projects and lived in Uganda for seven years, but I’d never seen anything like these tools: hand augers, balers, rock breakers, and an innovative and powerful yet affordable pump.

As one Ugandan said, “This changes everything.” Will it happen fast? It could but that’s up to people joining hands, working hard, and giving countries around the world their own chance to dig their own wells.

Water4 provides tools, designs that are public domain, expertise, and people like you and me travel and take tools and help train local people and leave projects in their hands to develop as each country and churches and communities see fit.

Watch this video and write me if you want to know more.

Dropping pump into the well

Here my good friend Steven Katurebe joins us from Mbarara for last 2 days of well work to help case the well and here sink the pump that is attached to 1 1/2 inch pipe with 3/4 in pipe inside. The innovation of this pump and pipe system from Water4.org is that the rod is also the pipe that delivers the water.

How far do we drill?

Here is the next video showing the last stage of drilling where we find sandy sludge, a sign of water below. Here is a rewarding but subjective stage where you wonder how far to drill below.

To understand how much water is in the hole at this point, use a string and weight to measure the top of the water (static level) to the bottom of the hole. We were getting 3-5 feet measurements of water and could audibly hear water when we dropped small rocks.

Next, I’ll post the casing work on the well.

How to pack a Water4.org well drilling kit

Water4.org is revolutionizing water well drilling by producing human-powered tools where no electricity or heavy equipment is available, to countries worldwide. We are taking a kit like the one being packed here to Uganda.

Thank you to Steve Stewart who has engineered these parts, to Pumps of Oklahoma and Water4.org. Thanks also to Jeff and Jeffery Deavenport for helping pack up the kit in seven duffle bags. Thanks to Chris Fields for providing the duffles and to the Garnett Church of Christ for donating money for this kit.

Drilling with these tools costs a fraction of cost of a drilling rig and gets the community involved in sustainable development, drilling for their own water. Clean water is the first building block of health. A third of the world does not have clean water. Well water is one of the best methods for getting naturally filtered water to communities.

Recovering Sinners

A crew from Wednesday Bible Study Group at Garnett

A crew from Wednesday Bible Study Group at Garnett

I’m a grateful recovering sinner. I’ve enjoyed meeting each week with a group of fellow recovering sinners. Many of those meeting have never read the Bible before in their lives. Many do not yet have a relationship with Jesus. Some are skeptics, all are struggling with addictions and sin.

Peggy, Gene, Jessica, Shawn hanging out at Bible study Wednesdays Garnett

Peggy, Gene, Jessica, Shawn hanging out at Bible study Wednesdays Garnett

We pray together and share love, joy, and sorrow with one another and study a Bible book together. This is a group that has grown out of friendships we’ve made with people in the community who come for our Neighborhood Kitchens Meal each Wednesday. The class is about half long-time followers of Jesus and half first-time investigators or followers.