My God is Powerful

Holy.

Spiritual.

Transformational.

These are not always the first words used to describe a Vacation Bible School. You are more likely to hear words like loud, chaotic, messy. But that was not the chance at Peakland last week. While talking to Kristin, our VBS director at Peakland, she said, “My goal was for someone, somewhere, to have a spiritual experience.”

It happened.

2015-07-12 21.22.55

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Book Review: A Sherlock Holmes Devotional

Holmes DevotionalThe first Sherlock Holmes story was published in 1887. Ever since, the brilliant detective has fascinated readers and viewers. Trisha Priebe’s devotional attempts to draw from the Holmes canon spiritual truths to inspire the Christian’s life. The publisher states that “this book investigates the spiritual truths we can discern from this enigmatic fictional character – a brusque, stubborn, and arrogant man who also shows honor, trust, and self-sacrificing friendship.”

Unfortunately, Priebe’s investigation does not reveal all that it could reveal.

I liked the concept, which is what drew me to read the book. I’m always interested in how others make connections between faith and pop culture – and yes even though Sherlock Holmes’ first appearance was in 1887, he is just as part of our pop culture as James Bond or Bruce Wayne. The best parts of this book are the first half of each of the devotionals where Priebe shares information about the different stories or events leading up to the writing of those stories. Here she reveals interesting facts about the character, his legacy, and his creator Arthur Conan Doyle.

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Comic Review: The Flash Vol. 6: Out of Time

Comic Review: The Flash Vol. 6: Out of Time

The Flash Vol. 6The following may contain spoilers. You have been warned. 

It is the beginning of a new era for the fastest man alive. In this volume, we are introduced to the future Flash who is a broken man. Time and again, his powers have failed him at an enormous cost to himself and the city he loves and has sworn to protect. Future Flash concludes that the his powers are weakening the more he travels through time. In order to remedy this problem, he goes back to the current, present-day time to stop the one event that starts it all.

The story comes from writer Robert Venditti, Van Jensen, and artist Brett Booth, collecting The Flash #30-35, The Flash Annual #3, and The Flash: Futures End #1. The main troubling element of this graphic novel is the story in the present. For the most part it isn’t all that interesting. There are pieces that are repetitive, and some things are overly explained. The pattern is established – someone is using weapons from previous villains to enact random acts of violence. Once the act has been committed, the Flash/Barry is the only one who knows that the villain who owned the weapon is not who they are looking for. The investigation continues until he figures out who is behind it all.

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Book Review: Searching for Sunday

searching4sundaySearching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church, Rachel Held Evans, Nelson Books, 2015.

Searching for Sunday is one of the best books I’ve recently read. Rachel Held Evans is one of those Christian writers whom readers are divided on. You either love her or you don’t. Her latest book is no different. Some have gone to great lengths to explain why she has theologically missed the boat, or have longed for more. Others rejoice at this book. They have longed for the honestly that Evans communicates seemingly with ease about the realities of the Church.

I have not read a lot of her writing. I read a couple of her blog posts from time to time. Megan has read more of her books than I have. A friend of mine said how much he enjoyed and appreciated the book.

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Youth Mission Week: Day 5

It wouldn’t be a mission week without a little rain . . . . or a rain storm. It 15 years of youth ministry, there has never been a youth mission week/camp/trip without rain. Today was that day for us. But, in what I think is a first, the project that we were scheduled to do with InterFaith Rebuilds today we finished on Tuesday, so today was already revamped.

After the youth worked so hard yesterday, we started at 9am instead of 8am.

For about three years members of the Ruth Circle at Peakland United Methodist have been delivering roses to residents of a local healthcare center. Today we did as our eighth project of the week.  We drove out to Lynchburg Grows to get roses that they had set aside for us. For decades the site was one of the main producers of roses in this country. In the mid to late 80’s it shut down. Eventually it would reopen as Lynchburg Grows, which is a co-op of locally grown produce. They employ individuals with varying disabilities as well.

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Youth Mission Week: Day 4

Today was probably the longest day we’ve had yet. This morning we returned to the Habitat for Humanity site on Harrison Street. Today, we broke into two working teams. One team worked on digging a ditch from the house (under the front porch) out to the street for the sewer line. The other group worked on prepping and water proofing the foundation.

To prep the foundation, we used broken pieces of concrete to smooth out the rough edges. Then, after blue tape was attached to the siding, so we did not get any of the white water proof stuff on the siding, we started putting the stuff on with thick brushes. It goes on like paint, but it is much thicker than paint. The youth worked hard to get two coats all the way around the foundation.

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Youth Mission Week: Day 3

Youth Mission Week: Day 3

Today we worked with Lynchburg’s Habitat for Humanity. We planned to work a full day with them, but because of the extreme heat and the lack of shade, we ended the day after lunch. Habitat builds 4-5 homes a year. This build is their Apostle’s Build. Twelve churches in the community have been working on this house through work days and funding. A portion of the Lenten offering from Peakland went towards this Apostle’s Build.

One of the unique things about Habitat for Humanity, is that the homeowner-to-be is required to put in some many volunteer hours on their house. Marty works the night shift at the hospital and then during the mornings he comes and puts in hours on the building of the house for him and his family.

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