One Crazy Summer

This summer, my first on staff at Trinity Baptist Church, has been filled with so many blessings and some challenging situations.

In thinking about the highlights, I have grouped them into two categories:

  • ministry/personal connections
  • unified teaching

I love making connections between things that are being taught and ministries the church is involved in.  This summer there were several different connection points.  Some were planned, some were unplanned, and all were God-ordained.

We started the summer off with Vacation Bible School from June 13 - 16.  The Australian-themed Zoomerang study provided us with the opportunity to share a video from one of our missionary families - the Mayos.  It was great to hear what God is doing right now down under.  Another VBS connection was having Lisa Koppenhofer share.  She, her husband Hugh, and their children have been regular attendees at TBC.  Lisa was born and raised in Australia.  So, thankfully, we did not have to do false Australian accents all week.  We had someone who speaks "Australian" share about growing up there.  The final "program" connection was with a local ministry TBC recently began supporting,  Alpha Grand Rapids.  We raised over $1300 to help Alpha show the love of Christ to pregnant moms.

There were also a couple of "personal" connections during VBS week.  Three East Oakview Elementary Bible Club kids came to VBS.  Krista and I also had the chance to briefly reconnect with friends from West Cannon. 

Personally, I am very thankful for the workers from TBC who stepped up to help in so many different ways.

The connections continued after VBS.  God provided the opportunity for me to speak at Camp Michawana a couple of times this summer.  On the first Tuesday night, I spoke at Kids Camp there were two girls from East Oakview's Bible Club.  The other Tuesday night I connected with several kids from Community Kids, another ministry TBC supports.  Along with these two camper connections, it was awesome to be at camp where 19 people from TBC were serving in different ways.  Several of the Community Kids I met at the camp were also at the Community Kids' Bible Club hosted at TBC this summer.  

The VBS, Bible Club, Community Kids, Camp MIchawana connections were amazing!  Praise God for multiple opportunities to share with kids!!


Two of my responsibilities at TBC are children/family ministry and adult Christian education.  This summer I was able to bring both of these together with a combined Summer study for our Sunday School class.  The adults and the 2-year-olds through 5th graders did the same Fighter Verses passage each week. While there have been challenges in preparing and planning the study, it is my hope that this study will help people see the impact of Bible memory and meditation along with equipping parents to do family devotions.  In July and August, we focused on Psalm 91, and in July, I taught a class of children and parents.  While there are a lot of ministry specifics I would like to share, I need to write about how God has been using Psalm 91 in my life.  

Today (8/28) was the last day of the combined study and I shared with the adults that it is my prayer that Psalm 91 would serve as an anchor, a reminder, that points each of us to God, our refuge and our fortress.  Spending the last two months in this Psalm has been such a blessing.  All too often my Bible reading becomes something to get done quickly.  This long, focused time in one chapter has been such an encouragement.  He is the Psalm.  
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place
the Most High, who is my refuge—
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands, they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him
I will be, with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life, I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

Protection is in the refuge and fortress that is God himself.  (1 - 2)
Protection is with feathers and shields from the snare of fowler and pestilence.  (3 - 4)
Protection is during day or night (5 - 6)
Protection is from the judgment of sin (7 - 8)
Protection is in a dwelling place (9 - 10)
Protection is by angels and ultimately Jesus (11 - 13)
Protection comes from God  (14 - 16)

Throughout this summer, I needed reminders that God is in control.  This Psalm, with its Biblical truth and visual imagery, served as a constant reminder. 

God, my refuge, my fortress, my protector, my shield,
I have been reminded over and over again these last two month
that you protect.
Help me remember this in everything I go through.