Testify Training Camp 2018!

I’m excited to announce our 3rd annual witnessing training camp, scheduled for August 9-13. Last year doubled in size from the first year and it was a super exciting time. There was a mix of young people, middle aged, and older people, and the four days were pretty packed with fellowship, learning together, and doing outreach together. I’m excited to see who God brings this year! Feel free to spread the word to anyone you know who may be interested.

This year Bryan Osborne, speaker from Answers in Genesis will be joining us. He’s an awesome speaker and teaches apologetics in a very understandable way.

Space is limited. Register here.

“Just Men” Conference

It has been a while since my dad has run a “Just Men” conference. He has scheduled one for next month (June 22-24), and we are excited to see how the Lord will use this event. It is for young men starting at age 16, as well as for men of all ages.

Below is information from my dad about his vision for this event. Feel free to share with those you know who may be interested.

Purpose:
The need in our day is for a new generation of young men to rise up who are “just” and whom God can use for His glory and His Kingdom. “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.” (I John 2:14b)

Goals:
• Build and strengthen the future leadership of the Body of Christ
• Establish a growing fellowship group of just men who have a working relationship together in the various ministries God gives them
• Strengthen future marriages and families by laying essential Biblical foundations
• Be instrumental as the Lord raises up and sends forth laborers into His harvest
• Encourage and train young men to be disciple makers

Topics that will be explored and reviewed:
• Biblical concepts of the Christian life and of being a just man
• The importance and function of the church, the Body of Christ
• The enemies facing the church, the culture and us as men
• Important issues and battles of our day
• Ministry and leadership

For: Men of all ages (16 years old and up)

Cost: Free

Schedule:
Friday 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Sunday 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Register free here.

Conference will be held at both Cedar Rapids Bible Chapel and Noah’s Archive Christian Bookstore.

Housing in homes is available for out of town attendees.

Evening meals and Sunday lunch will be provided. Saturday lunch will be at Chick-fil-A. Breakfast in homes.

For questions, email or call Harold Mally: harold@tomorrowsforefathers.com
Office phone: 319-377-6728

“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man and he will increase in learning” (Proverbs 9:9).

“He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be like the light of the morning … ” (2 Samuel 23:3).

Apology

Hi everyone, On my recent blog post of our church’s bike trip, I shared a one minute video of singing in a living room. It was brought to my attention that an extremely inappropriate video came up next on my Vimeo channel. This happened because I was sharing that video from my own personal Vimeo account (not our larger, Tomorrow’s Forefathers account). Because of that, I did not have control over what came up next. I guess I didn’t fully realize the danger of that, or perhaps Vimeo just recently made changes and allows really bad videos to creep in. I have now made all those videos on that account inaccessible, so the blog is now safe. I am very sorry that I wasn’t more careful, and I pray no harm was done. I realized afterward that I could have had my settings in Vimeo adjusted to avoid this.

Upcoming “Speak Truth in Your Heart” Conferences!

We’re excited to announce three upcoming “Speak Truth in Your Heart” conferences!

Cedar Rapids, Iowa (July 13-14)
(A “Strong in the Lord” Conference for ages 8-14 will also be held in Cedar Rapids on July 10-11)

Bellefontaine, Ohio (July 20-21)

Hudson, Wisconson (November 9-10)

We’d appreciate help in spreading the word if you know friends in these areas! Let us know if you’d like us to mail you flyers or send you a promotional email to forward to friends. See our website for more information and to register.

Church Bike Trip!

Last Sunday our church did another church-wide 14-mile bike trip to the Nederhoff’s home where we had a cook out. We typically do this twice a year. We all bring our bikes to church and start riding after church, taking the nearby trail which providentially goes all the way to Nederhoffs!

My dad always assigns one father to lead and another to bring up the rear.

Enjoying fellowship at our destination. My mom is recovered enough from our van accident that she rode the 14 miles too!

Good catch, Ezra!

Big family!

Thankful that Tony Ramsek was with us and shared a devotional on propitiation and expiation from Leviticus 16. Our sins are doubly gone!

Sunday morning I remember thinking about how we just don’t know from day to day what the day will bring forth. It could bring blessings or it could bring unexpected difficulties. Sunday evening I thought, Praise the Lord He gave us yet another undeserved blessed day. He gives us so many gifts we don’t deserve. And actually, since He is taking care of us and in control of everything, every day is a blessed day, no matter what happens.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” Psalm 103:1-2

“Speak Truth in Your Heart” Book, Finished!

We want to say a big thank you to all who shared insightful comments regarding the font color of Sarah’s new book! You all shared so many insightful comments and helpful thoughts! After much deliberation and discussion, we finally decided on … navy! 🙂 We praise God that we finally have the book finished and now available to order!

We were aiming to have it available for the Answers for Women Conference 2018 and we ended up cutting it super close.

Praise God our printer’s location was directly on the way to where the conference was, so we picked up the books from our printer right after they were finished — one day before the conference!

It’s always a great experience to smell the new book for the first time, haha.

Thanks for all who have prayed for us as we’ve been completing this book. We’re so grateful for how the Lord helped us finish, and now pray that He uses it in lives.

Serious Van Wreck

Our whole family almost died last Friday night on a trip home from Chicago. We are amazed to be alive.

The five of us were together, traveling home from a great-aunt’s funeral. We were having a nice family time in the van, laughing at old stories.

The weather had just changed, and had become a mix of rain and snow, but it didn’t seem especially dangerous. But it was more slick than we thought, and while passing a semi we hit ice and began fishtailing.

“Oh no,” I heard. We were losing control.

I peered up from the second bench where I had been lying down, and saw the front of our van hit the side of the semi we had been passing. The impact of hitting that semi sent our van violently into the grassy median, and I saw that we were now headed towards the gleaming lights of oncoming traffic. All of a sudden things felt really out of control (we were rolling, but I didn’t realize it at the time) and I heard the loud noise of the van roof crunching in on top of us. I yelled, “Jesus, protect us!” and tried to prepare myself, thinking I was about to feel a ton of pain, and we all might die.

However, after a few seconds, we were stopped by the side of the road, and I didn’t feel the pain I had been anticipating.

“I’m okay!” I said, surprised.
“I’m okay,” my dad responded.
“I’m okay,” Sarah echoed.
“I’m in pain,” my mom said. Just hearing her voice was a relief, but she was holding her stomach and her shirt was getting bloody. She was not able to answer questions very well or identify the location of the pain.

Stephen was already on the phone with 911.

I looked around to get my bearings. We had been going west, but now we were on the far side of the east-bound lanes of the interstate.

Here’s what had happened: We had rolled over the cable separation barrier and landed right side up in oncoming traffic. When Stephen (the driver) refocused his eyes on the road after that roll, he saw the oncoming traffic about to hit us and he thought we were all going to die. However, the momentum kept us moving and we skidded across both lanes of traffic. Once Stephen saw we were on the shoulder, he stepped on the brake. He was shocked that we survived.

Back to my mom. She seemed a little faint and couldn’t answer questions very well, but she indicated the pain was subsiding. She was taken to the ER and later I learned that the blood was actually just from a cut on her hand. There was an initial fear of internal bleeding, but the CT scan showed her internal organs were okay. She does have a fractured shoulder, though, and bruised internal organs. The hospital kept her overnight but she is now at home recovering.

In the above picture you can see our red cooler in the median. Apparently it flew out while we rolled, along with other things. Almost all the van windows shattered and even our big harp was part way out the window. We do not have an explanation for how my mom, Sarah, and I (who were not wearing seat belts) did not also fly out the window, except for the Lord’s protecting hand. My mom was right next to the cooler, and she was even leaning against the window when we rolled.

Mom and Dad were very happy to be reunited, and we were all relieved Mom wasn’t worse. It is an unbearable thought to consider all the things that could have (and realistically speaking, should have) happened.

The hospital chaplain told us, “I’ve been working here for five years, and you are the first trauma accident where all the people have lived to tell about it.”

I questioned her, confused. I mean, we all know many survive car accidents. She explained that she only gets called for the serious accidents. And in situations like ours, we were the first family in five years that all survived.

As you can imagine, we were all pretty emotionally shaken. I remember sitting with Stephen in the waiting room, waiting to hear how Mom was.
“Did you think we were going to die?” I asked him.
“Yeah. I thought we were going to die,” he said, his eyes welling up with tears.
The next few days were filled with emotion for all of us. Two days later, my dad was preaching the sermon at church and took the first 15 minutes of his sermon to tell of our accident. It was hard for him to get through it.

Through all the grateful tears, we also have an increased compassion for those that do experience great loss in these kinds of accidents.

Here’s where the accident took place. We were coming from the other way. You can see the cable barrier and broken posts. That’s where we rolled.

Praise God the van structure held up well enough during the roll that the roof didn’t crunch in further.

Sarah’s neck was very sore, and the next day at the junk yard and Detective Stephen discovered a clue as to why her neck hurt so much.

She must have hit her head on the ceiling of the van as we rolled. This is a chunk of Sarah’s hair caught in the van ceiling! Thankfully, the soreness in her neck is already subsiding.

Now our harp…. it didn’t do so well!

As we took off the harp cover, this is what we found. We’re grateful it was insured, but even if it wasn’t, it hardly feels like it matters. We’re alive.

On Sunday afternoon I sat down at our kitchen table with my Bible. It fell open to Psalm 116. I looked down at the verses and read these words: “For You have rescued my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. I shall walk before the LORD in the land of the living” (Psalm 116:8-9). The whole chapter was amazingly appropriate. (Amazing how no matter the disaster, there’s a Psalm that will fit. 🙂 )

Stephen showing my mom pictures of the van the next day in the hospital

Right after the accident when I realized my family was alive, I felt such thankfulness to God that it was hard to express. It was this feeling of, “What could I ever do for You, Lord, to thank you for this?!”

Yet, that Friday night rescue wasn’t the biggest deliverance that the Lord had accomplished for me. The much bigger gift was when He died on the cross to rescue me and my family not just from earthly death, but from eternal death in Hell.

“Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all” – Isaac Watts

The Lord has provided for us in countless ways: A young couple who saw the accident happening (from the oncoming traffic side) stopped immediately and were a comfort to us – they also had their families praying for us. A friend, Craig Rollinger, who lived nearby came immediately to give Stephen a ride from the hospital to retrieve the harp from the towing yard. Our church family showered us with love and met all our needs.

We have yet one more reason to owe our lives to Jesus. And we are reminded that He is able to easily rescue from any danger until He says it’s time to come Home.

Church-Wide Memorizing Marathon

On January 20th, our church family ran a marathon. Only, the entire event took place inside our church building. It was not running miles, but memorizing verses! It was an exciting day! I’ll share a glimpse of what happened.

The morning began with a wonderful breakfast that Cheryl volunteered to provide. (Everyone knows you need good food before a marathon!)

As breakfast was concluding, my dad gave instructions about the morning’s schedule. Everyone chose in advance whether they wanted to do a whole marathon (memorizing 26 verses, all in one morning), a half marathon (13 verses) a 10 K (6 verses) or a 5 K (3 verses). We had 37 participants.

Memorizing 26 verses all in one morning is no easy undertaking! Like physically running a marathon, it requires unusual dedication and perseverance. It helps to know others are doing it with you. Sometimes you don’t know how much you can memorize until you really apply yourself.

No one knew in advance which Bible passage we would be memorizing. The passage was printed out, and everyone was told to pick up a copy (in the version of their choice) as they entered the auditorium to begin.

Silence filled the room as the “race” began and each mind focused diligently on the passage.

That is, until the “Chariots of Fire” theme song would start playing (approximately every 45 minutes) which meant it was time to go downstairs for a quick water and snack break. (How could you run a marathon without snacks? 🙂 )

Some of the girls prepared motivational posters for the little ones to hold to cheer on the memorizes as they came down for the snack break.

After a quick break, we were all back upstairs to keep studying! Each person picked their own quiet, comfortable spot in the church to study.

Chloe found an exceptionally good study spot (her dad’s lap).

Whenever anyone finished their entire goal (whether 26, 13, 6 or 3 verses), he or she would quote to someone.

Naomi worked really hard and did a 10 K all by herself (6 verses). Here she is quoting them to Charlie.

Thomas really applied himself and here he’s quoting his 5 K (3 verses) to my grandpa with actions. We’re so proud of how hard the kids worked!

After lunch we had an awards ceremony! In this picture Stephen is passing out the 10 K medals.

Our “winner” was Laura Howard (mint sweatshirt), who memorized all 26 verses in just 90 minutes and quoted them fluently to my grandpa. Mark Woodhouse, one of our elders, was the second to finish the full marathon. 🙂 Of course, we weren’t actually racing against each other.

The event concluded with some Bible quizzing on the passage we had all just memorized.

The kids were pretty excited to see the adults quiz also. 🙂

We praise God for all the Scripture that was hidden in hearts in just a few hours, and for the joy that accompanied doing it together! We counted up how many verses that were memorized by everyone over the course of the morning and the number came to 500. Praise the Lord.

Sarah’s Birthday + John 1 + Isaiah 40

We had a nice family time at Kava House in Swisher this morning for Sarah’s birthday!

After some nice family discussion, my dad shared some insights from John 1 that he has been enjoying. I’ll try to restate his thoughts:

After John denied that he was the Messiah or Elijah, he explained who he was: the very one Isaiah 40:3 was talking about. That must have been amazing for his audience to hear. The man standing before them was the one about whom Isaiah prophesied! Wow. They were seeing prophecy being fulfilled before their eyes. However, what John the Baptist said NEXT made his previous statement pale in comparison. He said, “AMONG YOU STANDS ONE you do not know, even He who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie” (John 1:26).

Whoa! If the crowd listening was familiar with Isaiah 40 (and I’m guessing many were) they should have connected the dots, and realized that John the Baptist was talking about Jehovah, the I AM described in Isaiah 40. If they were understanding John the Baptist correctly, it should have registered in their minds that he was saying, “The Messiah is alive today in Israel! The One that ‘the voice calling in the wilderness’ from Isaiah 40:3 was called to introduce is here! He stands among you now!”

“It’s kind of like ‘Aslan is on the move,’” Stephen commented.

And if they remembered any of the amazing descriptions of this Coming One that Isaiah 40 gives they would have been even more in awe. Although John’s listeners didn’t catch on at that time to the implications of what he was saying, praise God WE can read John 1 and Isaiah 40 with understanding.

John the Baptist was a phenomenon that Israel hadn’t seen in 400 years. An angel announced his birth. His life’s work was prophesied. He was filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb (Luke 1:15). Even Jesus spoke high compliments for him (Luke 7:28). Yet all of John the Baptist’s credentials merely elevate Jesus because John said he was not worthy to even untie the strap of Jesus’ sandal.

Anyway, there are few things better than a good Bible discussion with family at a coffee shop on a cold January morning.