About Us

Metro Christian Fellowship is an evangelical charismatic church on the south side of Kansas City, Missouri. Our worship services embrace heartfelt worship, expression of spiritual gifts, prayer for the sick and teaching from the Bible. Visit us at our website.

In the hands of God-by Cathy Carnes

I have this bracelet that I had made when my two oldest grandchildren were born. It is their birthstones on it. I wore it a lot when I first got it and then when I moved to my own place in May of this year, I put it up so I would not lose it. After the boys were diagnosed with Neiman Pick Disease, Type C, I was rummaging through what little jewelry I have and found this little bracelet that was hiding in the back. I started wearing it again to remind me to pray constantly for their healing. In specifically, their physical healing! You know, God wants specifics, so that is what I am doing. I put it on the alter at church on November 2, as a surrender to God to work a miracle. I took it off the alter after church that Sunday and put it back on my arm and went on with life that week. I wore it all week and never took it off as a commitment to pray, pray, pray. I woke up the next Sunday and it was not on my arm. I became frantic, like this little piece of jewelry was everything, my whole life. In my head for just a minute, I had thought, if I lost this little piece of jewelry, I had lost my grandchildren.

I went on to church with a Niemen pick bracelet that was orange that I put on the alter instead. I went on with life, trying to figure out what I had done with that other bracelet. I had torn my house up looking for it as I was crying out for God to deliver it back to me, I was told that if you ask in the name of Jesus, make this appear it would…. So that is what I did……
IN THE NAME OF JESUS, MAKE THIS BRACELET APPEAR…. Three days went by and no bracelet.

I was getting dressed one morning ……. Wanting to wear this sweatshirt that someone gave me that says….. ETERNALLY FREE. with the verse John 3:16 on it. I went to put in on Tuesday morning and as I unwrapped it, the bracelet that I so desperately cried out for dropped out. It had been covered up in this sweatshirt that says “Eternally Free.” John 3:16---For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him, shall not perish but have eternal life.

What a blessing to know that God has my grandbabies in his hands, and to know that if all of us, as people will just allow God to take control of our lives, life would be so much more peaceful, because only God can give me peace.

Someone so dear to me wanted me to think of why that bracelet was taken from me those couple of days…… Was it because I needed to surrender once again to God and allow Jesus, the Redeemer of all, to actually take control of the situation with my grandchildren? With my life? Was I to surrender my faith and control once again? Was it time to let The Holy Spirit do his work here with the boys?

It is when we surrender our lives over to God that peace comes and abundant love overflows. Will you allow God to take control of your life today?

Blessings,
Cathy

Compass-Scott Jones

"How Compasses Work"~by Marshall Brain

No matter where you stand on Earth, you can hold a compass in your hand and it will point toward the North Pole. What an unbelievably neat and amazing thing! Imagine that you are in the middle of the ocean, and you are looking all around you in every direction and all you can see is water, and it is overcast so you cannot see the sun...How in the world would you know which way to go unless you had a compass to tell you which way is 'up'? Long before GPS satellites and other high-tech navigational aids, the compass gave humans an easy and inexpensive way to orient themselves."

God is endlessly amazing, wonderful & good! He gives us a beautiful & sure reference point through His only Begotten Son, to show us the path into eternal life. He orders our steps & gives us direction, focus, & provision no matter where we are in life's adventurous journey.

In Christ's Perfect Love,
Scott, Christine & Connor Jones

Tammy McDonald’s Top Ten Worship Songs

I Will Not Be Moved-Natalie Grant
Mighty To Save-Laura Story
Empty Me-Chris Sligh
Sound of Your Name-Above the Golden State
Hungry-Karyn Scott
Walk By Faith-Jeremy Camp
Mountain of God-Third Day
By His Wounds-Glory Revealed
Don't Give Up-Sanctus Real
Made To Worship-Chris Tomlin

Top 10 Current Favorite Worship Songs-Ruby Smith

“Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)”-Chris Tomlin
“Whatever You’re Doing”-Sanctus Real
“Be Thou My Vision”-Traditional Hymn
“In Christ Alone”-Traditional Hymn
“Be Near”-Shane and Shane
“Show Me Your Glory”-Third Day
“His Eye is on the Sparrow”-Selah
“I Will Not Be Moved”-Natalie Grant
“Miracle of the Moment”-Stephen Curtis Chapman
“Bika Mono Ve (Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior)”-Selah

Top 10 Current Favorite Worship Songs-Bobby Taylor

From the Inside Out - United
Came to the Rescue – United
Hosanna – Paul Baloche
Lead me to the Cross – Brooke Fraser
Love Came Down – Ben Cantelon
Jesus Paid it All – Kristian Stanfill
Take it All – United
You Never Let Go – Matt Redman
Jesus Blood - Delirious
Take My Life – Chris Tomlin

Top 10 Current Favorite Worship Songs-Jim Bailey

“Love Is Here”.................Tenth Avenue North
“When I See You”............Big Daddy Weave
“This Is Home”.................Switchfoot
“Rejoicing”.........................Ian McIntosh
“Restoration”....................David Brymer
“Holy Spirit Come”...........Isa Covertier
“Restless Spirit”................Kara Tupy
“Gravity”...........................Shawn McDonald
“Beautiful Mystery”.........Telecast
“Say”..................................One Republic

12 Questions: Shirley McNeall

What is your favorite food? Pecan Pie

What is your favorite TV show? Believer's Voice of Victory

What was your first job? Working at library at college

What was your childhood ambition? To be a teacher.

Who inspires you? The Holy Spirit, Christian friends and Andrew Murray when I read his books.

What makes you laugh? Funny people.

What is your idea of a perfect day? Sun shining 80 degrees low humidity, riding motorcylce or enjoying an inspiring book.

Favorite Bible verse or passage? Proverbs 3:5-6

What is one of your favorite characteristics of Christ? His Love

What is your dream vacation? Go to Nova Scotia, Canada to see friends seeing the mountains and ocean there.

What is your middle name? Ann

Favorite coffee shop and drink? I don't drink coffee so I don't visit coffee shoppes very often.

12 Questions: Heather Beers

  • What is your favorite food? Ice Cream!
  • What is your favorite TV show? America's Funniest Home Videos and American Idol
  • What was your first job? "Welcome to Hardee's. May I take your order?"
  • What was your childhood ambition? To be an archaeologist.
  • Who inspires you? Isabel Paterson
  • What makes you laugh? My husband, Dennis. He is such a goofball!
  • What is your idea of a perfect day? Waking up to the sound of Ty Pennington yelling, "Good Morning Beers Family!" followed by a knock on the door by Ed McMahon and Publisher's Clearing House.
  • Favorite Bible verse or passage? Matthew 11:28-30
  • What is one of your favorite characteristics of Christ? His patience with me!
  • What is your dream vacation? One that is completely paid for by someone else. :oD\
  • What is your middle name? Before I got married - Lynne. Now my middle name is my maiden name - Trent.
  • Favorite coffee shop and drink? The Hard Bean on Main Street in Grandview, MO. My favorite drink - iced decaf coffee with sugarfree hazelnut syrup and skim milk. Yum!

12 Questions: Arlin Dale McNeall

What is your favorite food? Steak also Chocolate Pie.

What is your favorite TV show? News, Christian programs, 700 Club & Copelands

What was your first job? After leaving the farm I worked at a tire warehouse for a while.

What was your childhood ambition? To be a farmer.

Who inspires you? My Grandmother on my mother's side.

What makes you laugh? Clean jokes and funny things.

What is your idea of a perfect day? 80 degrees, low humidity, sun shining, riding my motorcycle.

Favorite Bible verse or passage? John 3:16

What is one of your favorite characteristics of Christ? He loves every body.

What is your dream vacation? Traveling & seeing different parts of the country.

What is your middle name? Dale

Favorite coffee shop and drink? Whatever restaurant I am having lunch or dinner at.

Six Questions: Erin Vogt

· What is your favorite TV show? Extreme Makeover Home Edition
· Who inspires you? My family
· What makes you laugh? Playing golf with my husband :-)
· What is your favorite Bible passage? Proverbs 31:30-31
· What is one of your favorite characteristics of Jesus? His unmerited favor
· What was your childhood ambition? Olympics

Six Questions: Maxine Nelson

· What was your first job? Sorting the bad wool from the good wool at the sheep shearing shed (yuk!)
· Who inspires you? Mother Theresa
· Dream vacation? Beach house on a South Pacific Island
· What is your favorite Bible passage? II Tim 1:7, Psalm 84
· What is one of your favorite characteristics of Jesus? Compassion
· What is your favorite food? Fish ‘n’ Chips (Kiwi Style)

Six Questions: Sara Wagner

Where were you born? Newburg, New York

When were you born again? As a little kid said “the prayer” many times, began a real relationship with God at 14

Do you have a favorite hobby or sport? Reading, Baking, Soccer

Your childhood dream job? Archeologist/Vet

Dream vacation? Hiking the Appalachian Trail/Backpacking Europe/England

What is your favorite bible book? John

Six Questions: John Ho

· Where were you born? Taiwan
· When were you born again? 13 years old
· What is your favorite bible book? Proverbs/Ecclesiastes
· Dream vacation spot: Fiji /Maldives /Great Barrier Reef
· What is your middle name? No middle name
· Do you have a favorite hobby or sport? Architecture / Travel/ Tennis / Golf

12 Questions: Seth Parks

Where were you born? Cloquet, MN

Favorite Psalm? 23. It’s been part of me since I was a wee little.

What is your middle name? Adam

Favorite season? Spring. It’s so refreshing to see signs of new life after a long time without.

Favorite place I’ve ever visited? Israel and Morocco. The old cobblestone streets and ancient architecture and old ladies selling piles of fresh-made bread on a blanket.

Breakfast food? Toast. With a little old-fashioned cow butter. Mmm.

Favorite book of the Bible? Hebrews. It’s such an awesome explanation of Jesus as the Great Priest who made a way for me.

Dream Vacation Spot? Yellowstone Park, Montana

Hobby? Husbandry

Coke or Pepsi? Coke. Hands down.

Your childhood dream job? Garbage Man. Because those guys looked so tough and rugged.

Family? My perfect wife, Erin, and my little 2 ½ year old wonder boy, Jedidiah.

All About Bobby Taylor

I grew up in Waynesville, IL. Population, less than 500.
I graduated from Belmont University with a degree in Music.

My wife Rachel and I were married on Aug 3, 2004.
We have a 20 month old son named Jaxon and we have another son on the way.

I grew up in church and I accepted the Lord into my heart when I was 7 years old. My testimony is that I have never known a day without the Lord.

I am passionate about seeing people grow and walk in their calling. I am also passionate about coffee!!

I play and listen to music all the time but I also love to read.
A new hobby of mine is playing legos with my son.

11 Questions: Sharon Childress

  • Where were you born? Norfolk, VA


  • Where were you born again? In my heart J ..when I was 8


  • What is your middle name? Elizabeth


  • Favorite season? Anything but Winter!


  • Favorite chip flavor: Cheetos - the puffy ones are the best


  • Breakfast Food? Eggs every day!


  • Favorite book of the Bible? Psalms in the New King James


  • Dream Vacation Spot? Wherever there's a beach!


  • Hobby? Doing crossword puzzles to help with that memory thing


  • Coke or Pepsi? Definitely Pepsi - it's sweeter!


  • Your childhood dream job? Hair Stylist

11 Questions: Mike Schmid

  • Where were you born?
    Wichita.. moved to KC before I was one.


  • Your born again experience?
    Church of Perpetual Adoration -1977


  • What is your middle name? Steven


  • Favorite season? Fall.. October days in Kansas.. best on earth!


  • Favorite chip flavor: Chocolate Chip J


  • Favorite breakfast food? Homemade Omelets!


  • Favorite book of the Bible? Psalms in the NIV translation


  • Dream Vacation ? Highlands of Boquette, Panama for 3 months


  • Favorite Clothing? Always looking for an occasion to tuxedo


  • Coke or Pepsi? The Real Thing.. when Starbucks is unavailable


  • Your childhood dream job? Doctor.. later a pro soccer player

11 Questions: Sarah Botsford

  • Where were you born? Oklahoma City, OK

  • Where were you born again? In my Mom’s BR at 4 years

  • What is your middle name? Elizabeth

  • Favorite season? Fall but it doesn’t last long enough.

  • Favorite snack food: Snyder's Sourdough Pretzels

  • Favorite hobby? Sitting down to read a really good novel

  • Favorite book of the Bible? I really love the story of Ruth

  • Which bible translation do you use? NLT & The Message

  • Favorite Sandwich? Roast Beef on an Everything Bagel

  • Coke or Pepsi? Ummm, hello, Dr. Pepper, of course

  • Your teenage dream job? "The Next Celine Dion"

Remembering My Dad

My dad passed away 6 years ago. A few years ago for Father's Day I remembered him by posting the eulogy I gave at his funeral. This year I remember my dad by posting this poem (here and in the bulletin) that I wrote about him in the early 90s:
My Dad

I once imagined, that when I was old, a man of position I'd be.
An admired man. One of good works, that many would see.
Now, at the mid-point of my years, my eyes turn back to Dad.
I find myself wanting to be like him in ways that surprise me.

You see, when I was young, I didn't see the strength of his love.
I didn't understand the nobility of the sacrifices he made for me.
The part time jobs, the hard work, the man asleep on the couch.
Images, that now give warm feelings, I then didn't understand.

For I didn't know what made a man a man, and a dad a dad.
But I know now and I want to be like my father, Lawrence J.
A man full of kindness, of gentle strength, of quiet inner love.
I thank God for my Dad, his love for me and my love for him.

His Son

I sent this poem to my dad inside a Fathers Day card. We didn't talk about my poem while he was alive (wish we had) as he lived in another state. After he passed away I found the poem amongst his things. It made my heart glad.

11 Questions: Greg Beel

  • What is your middle name? Alan
  • Favorite season? the fall...hunting season
  • Which bible translation do you use? NASB
  • Your childhood dream job? Oceanographer
  • Favorite Breakfast Food? Chocolate gravy and biscuits
  • Favorite sport? Bow hunting big game.. sometimes small.
  • Favorite book of the Bible? Acts...it's still being written!
  • Person you’d most like to have a meal with: My Mom
  • Vacation Spot? South Africa or Grandview.. not sure why
  • Where were you born? MO but I am an AK boy at heart
  • Where were you born again? In my Jeep cj7 driving on 435 heading north toward Weston ...awesome experience.

11 Questions: Mary Ho

  • Where were you born? Taiwan
  • Where/when born again? Ann Arbor, Michigan when I was an 18 year old college freshman.
  • What is your middle name? Tzen
  • Favorite season? Spring
  • Favorite sport/hobby? Shopping and more shopping!
  • Favorite book of the Bible? Isaiah
  • Which bible translation do you use? NIV
  • Your childhood dream job? Actress or Diplomat
  • Favorite item of clothing? Dresses
  • Favorite Sandwich? Gyro
  • Dream vacation spot? Paris (it is very romantic John)

11 Questions: Livie Sanchez

  • Where were you born? Los Angeles, CA
  • What is your middle name? Marie
  • Favorite book of the Bible? Genesis
  • Hobby? Gardening
  • Favorite season? Autumn
  • Furthest trip from home? India or Turkey
  • Dream vacation spot? Amalfi Coast of Italy
  • When/where were you reborn: 1979, Jackson Hole, WY
  • Your childhood dream job? United States Senator
  • Favorite item of clothing? My blue Puma sneakers
  • Favorite Sandwich? Turkey with Brie and Apple

Building Plan Questionaire

If you consider Metro Christian Fellowship your home church then we would like to hear from you about plans around our future location. Your input will help us to make decisions as we pursue the possibility of relocating our church.

To respond to this survey please copy/paste the text below into an email message, complete it by answering the survey questions and send it to our team.

As you know, our lease will end with the Lutheran High School May 2010. We are considering several options: either continue leasing from the Lutherans or look for a new location.

That’s why this survey is important; we want to hear from the members of Metro. We want to know what you think about this upcoming change.


TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF

Age: 12< ; 13-18 ; 19-30 ; 31-45 ; 45>

Male or Female?

Marital Status: Married, Single or Other

Do you have children in the home?

If yes how many?

Ages:

How long have you attended Metro Christian Fellowship?



LOCATION / MOVING CONCERNS

1. What affects do you see a move having on us as a fellowship?
(NOTE: Some examples are given, but should not be considered conclusive)
Strengths to a move: (More space, outreach options, etc.)

Concerns about moving: (Finances, loosing people, etc.)
2. Using the scale below how much of a change do you think relocating will have on us as a church?
1. Lots of change, not only location, but people, church activities etc.
2. Some change.
3. Limited change.
4. No change other than location.
3. What community/area do you live in now? (NOTE: not your specific address. Example: Independence, Leawood, Grandview, South KC)

4. How far would you be willing to drive (in miles) to continue to attend Metro?

5. Based on your involvement with Metro, what ministries to you see as a priority in terms of space in a new location?
Adult ministries (singles, men’s, Special events (Conferences, women’s, young adult) weddings, etc.)

Children’s ministries Youth ministries (Jr. & Sr. High)

Sunday Celebration Service Outreach & Helps Ministry (Food Pantry)

OTHER: (Please specify)


FINANCING OF RELOCATION

Please indicate one answer, if necessary you can explain any of your answers.

1. In terms of gaining a place for permanency would you prefer to:
a. Purchase land and build from ground up.

b. Purchase property that would need some rehabilitation to meet our needs.

c. Purchase property that would primarily accommodate Sunday morning activities with options to expand as resources available.

d. Lease a place for a long term basis that would allow for more flexibility in building use.

e. Other:
2. In terms of financing which more closely describes you?

a. Strongly feel we should borrow nothing or very little (<20%)>3. If we were to finance through a loan what percentage of the actual cost should be covered by the loan?

a. <>75%

4. Would you be willing to donate towards the cost of a new location above weekly tithing and giving?
Yes / No / Maybe
Is there anything else you want us to know about this process?

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!

Lakeland Revival Report

As he has just returned from a trip to visit the revival in Lakeland Florida, I asked Jason Ellsworth to comment on a recent article written by J. Lee Grady, editor of Charisma magazine (click here to read the article). Following is Jason's excellent reponse. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. -Bob Edwards

First and foremost I want to communicate that God is on the move in Lakeland. Many people are being healed daily. There is great inspiration and encouragement in the body. Leaders from churches around the world are flocking to Lakeland to “catch the fire” and are seeing God do significant things back home in their churches. I would encourage mature believers to go and soak up what God is doing.

Comments on Lee Grady’s article: I think that Grady has made very valid observations. It’s a good article, written to help pastor those visiting the Lakeland services.

Most people ask me, "Do you think it's real?"

I think God is genuinely moving in Lakeland and through Todd Bentley. I am very aware of the propensity to hype, manipulate crowds on some level. I think we would be naive not to recognize this. One thing I did not see there was someone pastoring what was happening. I wish that there were people in authority helping steward this move of God. At the same time, I don't believe that the lack of pastoring is the end of the world any more than I think the inclusion of hype mixed with a real move of God is going to nullify the God's work.

I grew up in Pentecost and I saw lots of hype, manipulation, and poor pastoring and yet I am the product of all of that mixed with the pastoring of the Holy Spirit in my own life. I think God is willing to use weird people, immature people, and fleshly people to do his work. I pray that these people mature and grow into this calling. I pray that Todd learns to pastor the revival more. In the end I am confident that the Holy Spirit will pastor our hearts and mature us through all of this.

I also think maybe God chose Todd (in all his immaturity), because he knew Todd would be willing to break through a lot of things other men would hesitate around.

I also realize this... We can embrace the power of God and the move of God, but we don't have to do ministry like Todd Bentley. I'm wired very different than Todd Bentley. I would dial down when he pumps it up. I would try to help encourage and love when he moves on to the next hungry soul without a second glance. My hope would be that God would deposit what He is releasing in Lakeland, FL in me and release this kind of power through my life... through my life, my lens, my calling, in the context of my style and my ministry.

As for Grady's warning against angels, I think the problem is not with the ministry of these angels (which I would suggest most of us have little revelation and authority on the subject). The problem may be with Todd’s immaturity in communicating to the masses. Todd definitely wants to glorify God not angels. But I imagine that he's walking in a grace where he's seeing and interacting with angels (very normal according to Biblical example) and because he's not sensitive to the masses he just blurts out things that are hard for those of us not walking in the same realm to swallow. Immaturity doesn't nullify God, but it can muddy the ministry. And Todd would do well to learn to move in this realm but make less of a show about it. Perhaps in the future we will become more accustomed to his reference to angels and we won’t pay so much attention to that aspect of this thing.

I don't think it's wrong to expect angelic involvement. (Many of us have been through phases in our lives where we were looking for demons around every corner.) We learn the balance in time. But it seems to me that most of God's supernatural work (through Biblical example) involves the ministry of angles. So, I'm very open to the ministry of Angels as they are used by the Father to work His will in the earth. They significant key is that we remain grounded in the Word, the Spirit and the Church.

As for highlighting the manifestations...

I'm even struggling with the idea of Big meetings and TV crews. I know God is using it to get the word out, but wouldn't it be cool if Todd just moved into a house in Lakeland. People could just come by and get healed or prayed for...

I'm not knocking Todd in how he deals with the manifestations. I obviously haven't had to deal with a significant amount of that stuff in my own ministry. But I remember that John Wimber would have people sit down in chairs for prayer because (he said), "there was nothing holy about falling down on the ground." If people manifest the Holy Spirit, let them, but we don't have to parade it on the stage. (good point Grady) However if it happens on the stage does that make it wrong? No. Again, I don’t hear too many stories about people reading Charisma Magazine in their living room and flailing around under the power of the Holy Spirit. This is something that God is releasing through Todd’s ministry. This is how Todd has learned to cope with it. Perhaps the best thing we can do is talk about it. When we discuss these things they can be put into proportion and demystified to some degree.

In addition one night, Bob Jones even mentioned that there was both Holy Manifestations and Demonic Manifestations occurring. He said that we should be aware that it's not all Jesus at work. Don't glorify the shaking and similar phenomenon. Glorify God when good comes from it.

Bob Jones made a great point. Something the leaders should take to heart more.

I think that leaders of churches would be wise to soak up what they can and encourage the release of God's power in their churches and in the lives of their congregants. But they should use their maturity (especially charismatic pastors that have lived through other moves of God and learned lessons) to pastor their people well. Like any move, if fostered well we could see great results and growth in the lives of our people. If not fostered well we could see people get hurt and burned out and be dealing with the scars for years.

I’m not prepared to speculate the long-term deposit this outbreak of the Holy Spirit will leave. However, through history God has consistently released outpourings of the Holy Spirit through individuals like Todd Bentley. A portion of people received what God was doing and the church leaped forward, revived and alive. Other segments of the church have ignored these outbreaks and remained static. They didn’t have to deal with the mess of the revival but they didn’t reap the benefits either.

Proverbs 14:4 says, “Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox.”

Oxen are messy. You’ve got to shovel up the poop! But they multiply the harvest greatly! I would encourage pastors and church leaders to embrace this move (even if you’ve been wounded in the past). Just be willing to pastor people through it!

Other observations about this outpouring:

It's not like Toronto or Brownsville. There's not the same weighty glory that was there. (However it may increase in time according to Bob Jones.) I did experience some of that glory sensation there. I felt it more than any other time in the past several years of my life but not with the intensity I had hoped for.

In the end, all the things worth criticizing are small in comparison to the greatness of God. There is nothing like watching people get healed from disease and hearing reports from doctors about the unexplainable miracles of God in their patients. That made the trip worth while! There are hundreds of people being healed each week. People with life-threatening cancers are being touched; returning home to their doctors to find out that there is no cancer in their bodies. People are getting up out of wheel chairs. Deaf ears are being opened. Vision is being restored. Complex nervous and blood disorders are miraculously reversed. I love this stuff! I left the Lakeland Revival with great hope, encouragement and inspiration! I am aware in both my intellect and my spirit that God is up to something great! I will continue to praise God for what He is doing there and around the world.

Let Your Kingdom come and Let Your will be done on the earth just like it is in Heaven!

Update on Ann Edwards

I am asked on a fairly regular basis about how my wife Ann is doing. Thought I might share a bit of our recent journey with you here.

Six years ago Ann was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and has had some very difficult symptoms related to it since then - symptoms that have paralyzed her from the waist down.. caused her to be unable communicate.. left her with weakness and currently has limited her mobility to a wheelchair. Since last summer she has had four attacks of this disease.

One month ago she was admitted to KU Med Center for surgery and has been there ever since. The surgery brought on another stroke-like attack which impaired her speaking ability and mobility. During this time Ann's doctor informed us that she was no longer certain of the MS diagnosis and would be running some tests to determine a more accurate diagnosis. After a month of physical and speech therapy it looks like Ann will be released from the hospital next week. Once out she will transition to a day hospital where she will receive physical therapy from 8am-2pm three days a week.

We had a discussion with her neurologist last night about 7:30.. it was a difficult and extremely disheartening time. The doctor told us that none of the tests and procedures that Ann had been through has pointed to a clear medical diagnosis. Consequently she is asking us to consider a biopsy of Ann's brain tissue. This is creating concern for both of us because of Ann's very negative reactions to her past two surgeries. We are also concerned because of the possibility that the biopsy will not extract the diseased cells and they would not know any more than they know now. They could begin treatment soon with chemotherapy but the chemo is a very strong substance and could internally damage Ann's body.

As you can see there doesn't seem to be a magic medical solution. We are not readily open to the solutions presented to us and are hoping to find an alternative path in the coming month. I am reminded of the scripture in Isaiah that instructs us to wait on the Lord and that the main part of waiting is prayer.. to that end we ask you to wait with us.

If you would like to keep current with this situation you can press here to go to my weblog journal where I post updates on Ann's status.

Thanks so much for standing with us in prayer.

Bob Edwards

Fanning the Flames

Jan, our daughter Sarah and I were at dinner with Lisa Boman Perot, a friend and former Metro member, who lives in College Station, Texas. While we were dining a fire actually started on the tablecloth of the table next to ours. Lisa saw it first and went into a sort of "mini panic" mode. She alerted us and started trying to locate and alert some of the restaurant help. I didn't see the fire, but I decided to get up and deal with it. I went to the table and I saw a circular flame in the tablecloth that had started from a single point candle flame! I simply wrapped up the tablecloth and snuffed out the fire!

I went back and sat down after that. We were all responding in our natural fashion to what had happened, but I felt I was hearing the voice of the Lord about it. First, I was kind of regretting putting out the flame! Then, I immediately had a vintage song in my spirit.

"Light the fire in my soul, fan the flames make me whole, Lord you now where I've been, so light the fire in my heart once again."

Aside from the smoke after I put out the fire, it was very pleasing to my spirit. I was amazed how the fire burned under control, spreading uniformly in all directions creating a circle of fire from a single point of origin!

I really think the Lord wants to start a fire that is not put out at Metro! It will emanate from the centrality of relationship with him and grow. It will be a fire of purity, passion, delight, and purpose.

So, anyway, I just want to be before the Lord, fanning the flames, asking him to send to us passion for living a pure and holy life before him, releasing healing power for His glory, and sending us prophetic knowledge concerning our place with Him. I think also that because the fire started around a friendship/family gathering that this will be done in the context of a body that is increasing in love and relationship. In short, I am now encouraged to be a fire starter, and instead of putting it out when it comes, fanning the flames!

-Mike Schmid

KC Hearts on Fire in NYC



For those of you who don't know me my name is Prisca Kendagor, one of the young adults here at Metro. I recently went to New York city to do street evangelism with Campus Crusade for Christ. These are a few pictures that I took there and following are my reflections about the trip.

First off I want to start by apologizing for this taking so long. I know a lot of people donated money, and I don't want it to seem like I am ungrateful. If it weren't for your donations and prayers I would have never gone to New York, and done some of the amazing things there.

After such a great trip it's hard to figure out what exactly I can say. The bus ride wasn't that bad but the stops were the worst. When you're in a deep sleep on a bus at 3:00am all you want to do is sleep. The last thing you want to do is get off because its a rest stop. We did notice though that as we got closer and closer to New York from KC the bus stops got nicer, and nicer, and nicer... it was interesting. Well once we got to New York, the first thing I saw was a billboard for a Broadway play. That was very exciting for me because I'm a theatre major. We got off the bus, and within 5 minutes this homeless guy comes up to me and Jenny and just takes our bags saying "Oh I'll get that for you mam? Where are you going?" I almost protested, but he just took it, and starts leading us to the cabs!! I was in shock! Chris and Fred got on either side of him in case he tried to make a run ( I was especially worried because my luggage was on wheels). The homeless guy thanked us for trusting him because he knows there are weirdo's out there who would steal our luggage ... I wanted to say "you just walked up to us and took our luggage!" We get to the front, and sure enough the guy says "now of course you're going to tip your server. I'll go take a smoke break, and I'll be back in a minute for the money" ... that con artist. I had to admit I was impressed though, he was smart. He came back, and I gave him a couple dollars, and that was that. That was our first experience in New York.

We all met up (there were eight of us from Johnson County Community College, and 25 from KU) and stayed at the Broadway Hostel. The people from Johnson County were me, Kate, Mollie, Lisa, and Jason. Two guys from KCK named Fred and Chris also travelled with us. After a full day of training on everything New York (the people, the subway, etc.) we were ready to evangelize. A special evangelism tool we used was "Soularium." It's a really cool conversation starter, with pictures and questions. If you see me at church and you have 10 minutes to spare ask me to do it for you some time. Any way it ended up working wonders for us. Tuesday we went all over the city to the different colleges ( I thought KC had lots of colleges) and did street evangelism there. Our group went to Columbia University, New York Tech, and Julliard which you know I loved! Columbia I think was our best place. Among the many people me and Jenny talked to, there were these two gay men (I'm pretty sure they were a couple.) I really sensed abrasiveness and fear from these guys. One of the questions we asked them was "When it comes to religion what have you tried?" one of them laughed and said, "to avoid it." They said they had come from Michigan to New York because they weren't really "welcome" back home. It wasn't till after we talked did they ask us where we were from, and we said Kansas and that we were with Campus Crusade. Needless to say they were surprised, because...well were being were like Christ. We didn't scream at them or anything, we just listened to their story. It's amazing what a simple thing like listening will do for an unbeliever. They didn't except Jesus as their Lord and savior right there, nor did they have a need to repent from their life style, but I know that a seed was planted there, and I only pray that someday they will understand the love of God, not the wrath of Him.

A few days later we went to a community college on Long Island called Suffolk County Community College. We met the leaders of their Campus Crusade group, and we all hit it off right away. It was really cool to talk to somebody who understands the struggles of leading a Christian group at a community college. We shared our stories, and life goals and dreams. The leaders were Ryan (worship leader), and Matt (president.) We plan on staying in touch with them down the road, and hope to keep the relationship between our two schools going (like sister churches.) So after we finished our talking we went off to do evangelism. Here's the thing, this school was kind of small, and there were ten of us evangelising here. Me and Kate where partners that day, we're actually the two main leaders of our Crusade at JCCC. We decided that it wasn't our place to talk to people, but simply to prayer walk so we did. The first thing we saw was a pamphlet for a group called "Soul Sisters" they examined many parts of spirituality, religion, and magic...so basically witchcraft. I right away felt the spiritual battle going on in this group (so much I had to drop the pamphlet), and we started praying for the women on the campus. The spirit of competition, that they didn't feel they needed to prove themselves with the men on the campus. We also prayed for the spirit of depression, and sexuality of course. We left the pamphlet there and moved on. We later prayed for the rest of the group ... that their evangelism go smoothly and that there be no abrasiveness and awkwardness and that we would see fruit from our efforts. Me and Kate were beginning to wonder if it was ok that we just prayer walked, and if there was even a point. I personally felt that it was really our role, as the "big sisters" (some of them called us mothers) of the group set the foundation with prayer, and let the new leaders take what God had prepared for them, and oh did they!!

By the end of the day all the prayers me and Kate prayed where answered. People were in tears ... the Holy Spirit moved so much. Lisa and Jason are two of the students from Johnson County. Jason is a leader in training and will take over Crusade next fall when me and Kate leave. They both told us about this girl named Lindsey who was very upset and was screaming in the middle of the cafeteria. They went to talk to her and found out that day she had just come back from the ER because she had tried to kill herself. She had anger issues, and depression and was upset because her ex-boyfriend was flirting with another girl. All these issues. Well long story short Lisa and Jason did Soularium with her and she was very interested in knowing the Lord, and going to Crusade at Suffolk. In fact it was only convenient that she was there that day, because she didn't plan on being there to begin with. She was just visiting. Lisa is currently doing a phone bible study with her, and according to Matt at Suffolk she did show up to the Crusade up there. And Lindsey's story was only one of many story's of that sort. There were at least 5 or 6 students who were either interested in knowing the Lord, or reconnecting with Him, and none of them had any idea that Campus Crusade was at their school. Did I mention that me and Kate prayed that the Suffolk Campus Crusade would double in size? I e-mailed Matt after I got back and he said they did have some new faces.

We also fed the homeless on Coney Island on Thursday, and it was just really encouraging to see people who had next to nothing, but still had the joy of the Lord in there heart. They had a few of us share our testimony at their church (including yours truly). It was just really good.

All in all the trip was amazing! I learned a lot, and I really saw God's vision for the campuses in the City. For me personally it was definitely a growing experience. This year my biggest struggle has been learning to dream again and believing in the vision God has given me for my life. Thoughts like "I'm not worthy of these dreams I have." and "They're just fantasy's I was silly to let myself believe they would come true" or worse "I'm a screw up, I can't do this." The hardest thing for a dreamer is watching your dreams get crushed. God used New York to light a fire in my heart again, and telling me "I made you a dreamer, it's ok to dream." When we went to Julliard I found out they have a playwrighting program there, and they only accept four playwrights a year, but everything including room, board, and tuition is payed for. I grabbed a pamphlet, and thought about applying. Kate saw the serious look of doubt on my face and yelled at me. "Prisca you're going to apply!!" "ok Kate I'll think..." "No!! You are going to apply!!" Haha, so I've decided once I'm done with the first four years of university, I'll apply to the playwrighting school at Julliard. It was nice to be in New York on Broadway and Time Square, and to be able to once again see the possibility of my plays in those play houses. The possibility of my name on one of those billboards/megavideo things. The possibility of people coming to the Lord because they saw a piece of work that I wrote on Broadway. Since I've been back it's still been kind of a struggle (I recently auditioned for two shows and didn't make either of them. That'll be my 6th show this year I've haven't made this year), but I'm asking God to help me understand. It's a struggle, but it'll be worth it in the end...I'm sure.

So there you go that's what happened in New York, it was amazing...and I want to go back!! Once again thanks to all of you who gave financially and prayerfully.

Much Love
God Bless,
Prisca

Easter Egg Hunt


Each year our church family gets together the day before Easter and celebrates the joys of family life with an egg hunt. The hunt includes children of all ages and includes activities such as face painting and free hot dogs. This year we held the hunt inside and everyone had a great time.

Good Friday Service


Our Good Friday Service at Metro. Using art, video, drama, dance and good old fashion preaching we bring this celebration. Come watch and particpate ... all in the crucifiction of Christ ... with us and remember He did it for you an me.

-George Wandick

The Beauty of Shyness

The following quote is from Henri Nouwen, a Dutch Catholic priest and writer who live from 1932 to 1996 and authored 40 books on the spiritual life.

There is something beautiful about shyness, even though in our culture shyness is not considered a virtue. On the contrary, we are encouraged to be direct, look people straight in the eyes, tell them what is on our minds, and share our stories without a blush.

But this unflinching soul-baring, confessional attitude quickly becomes boring. It is like trees without shadows. Shy people have long shadows, where they keep much of their beauty hidden from intruders' eyes. Shy people remind us of the mystery of life that cannot be simply explained or expressed. They invite us to reverent and respectful friendships and to a wordless being together in love.

I liked this quote because it speaks about so many of the people in my life.. those solid, quiet and caring people who love so well.

-Bob Edwards

I'm too young to retire!

10 years ago I was offered an opportunity to take a voluntary early retirement package. I was 48 at the time and absolutely did not want to retire. A few months went by and the deadline to accept the package was approaching — I decided to pray. :)

As I began to pray the Holy Spirit asked me this question: “Is it riskier to stay or riskier to leave?” In a very short time I was convinced that it was riskier to stay and submitted my retirement papers. In hindsight I can see the wisdom of that decision as people were laid off in masses in the ensuing years. You just never know what God will say when we ask Him.

-Bob Edwards

Purity of the Spirit

From Sunday February 17th: Jim Bailey teaches from 2Corinthians Chapter 7. We as believers we are called to press into the Lord and let Him change our lives and transform us. Paul is calling the church to be Pure in Spirit. Go here to download to your iPod.

Passion for Righteousness

From Sunday February 10th: Jim Bailey speaks from 2Corinthians Chapter 6 where Paul gives us a true revelation of what it means to live with Jesus in relationship with Him and to serve Him. Paul is calling the church to have a Passion for Rightiousness! Go here to download to your iPod.

How does Jesus love so good?

From the mouth of babes, we often say. Thinking back over my life there has been a bit of a pattern, a pattern of the Lord speaking to me through children. So many times, I have been the recipient of a comment, casually said by an unassuming child.

I remember several years ago, my son Josiah (4 at the time), asked “how does Jesus love so good?" I began to think to myself and pondered how to answer a deep question appropriately to a 4 year old. Interrupting my ponder Josiah said “I know, it’s cause he had a great dad!” This began a journey for me of asking the Lord to transform my heart into knowing Him as even more my Father. Having a great dad, I would think to myself….could the Lord be that comfy? Could he be that close, that near…like a dad? Here I was, a Christian virtually my whole life and I found myself craving a “dad” relationship with the Lord.

This not so simple question asked by my son is one that I ask myself quite often. How did Jesus love so well? I think our answers lie in the little people around us. Children remember to love others when it’s hard because they are dependent on love itself. They love well when people are hurting. Have you ever seen a child’s face when someone else is hurting, disappointed or left out? Have you ever seen a child’s face when someone is being mistreated or sick? They don’t run though the reasons why this type of pain might have been brought upon them, the steps it will take to bring them out of the pit. They just love. They hug, kiss, smile or even become mad that someone is hurting. They feel it’s not fair that there is pain, no matter what.

This is precious, precious in the eyes of the Lord. He wants us to love with out measure and conditions. Children are a wonderful example to us of loving well, loving unconditionally. We have something to learn from them even if they are much shorter than us.

-Jen Parker

South Africa: Along for the Ride



In November of last year I had the wonderful privilege of traveling to South Africa with AIM (Adventures in Missions). They asked me to come and help be a part of the training process for 50+ young men and women who would be spending the next six months serving the Lord in different nations in Africa.

AIM is a wonderful agency that has successfully trained hundreds of young people for service all around the globe. They have a proven track record of quality training and innovative mobilization for evangelism. I was blessed not only to be invited to go but also because I had dreamed of traveling to Africa since I was in my teen years!

The highlight of the trip for me was to take Nathan Haas and Greg Beel along for the journey. When I look at Jesus and his powerful example of raising up others through empowerment and love I cannot avoid the call to follow in His footsteps. Jesus took others “along for the ride” wherever He went. He ministered not by himself but with the disciples right by his side. I think that in modern day ministry we forget to travel on our journey with others, we loose out on the powerful impact of community, mentoring, and life on life ministry!

I was asked to teach ten sessions on Discipleship and how to make disciples. While Greg and Nathan did not teach, they contributed abundantly in counseling, friendship, exhortation, prayer ministry, and laughter. Their participation in this trip made it a huge success. I’ll never forget the moment when Nathan took up a basin and towel and washed the feet of a young lady who was full of hurt because of a broken relationship. She was healed powerfully as Nathan served her in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Greg amazed me as he spent countless hours listening to so many of the young people. There was something powerful that would come over Greg as he stopped and listened to their journey! It was as if for a moment he was in the story with them carrying their weariness, learning from Jesus with them in their journeys. I thought many times…”if Jesus were sitting there hearing this story he would look just like Greg!”

What an incredible gift these two men were to so many young men and women who were learning how to serve Jesus! One of the AIM staff members commented, “I did not really know why you brought Greg and Nathan but now that we have spent the last week with them I can’t imagine them not being here! They ministered so powerfully to us!”

Who are you taking “along for the ride”? As you serve the King how are you following in His footsteps? Do you invite others to participate fully in the journey with you and you serve Him? I would challenge you today to consider how you are inviting others to participate fully in your journey. I am confident that as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus we will see the Kingdom of God emerge on the earth all around us!

-Jim Bailey

Strength in Weakness

From Sunday March 2nd: Bob Edwards speaks on how strength is made perfect in weakness. "When I am weak, then I am strong!" Go here to download to you iPod.

The Easter That Changed My Life

Spring is an awesome time of the year for me - it is the time that I remember that Easter weekend in 1976 when I gave my heart to Jesus. My journey to that weekend started in April 1972 when my new bride (we were married the previous June) Ellen came home from a visit to an ophthalmologist with bad news – he told her that the retinas in both eyes were hemorrhaging and she would be blind within a month. The next 3 years were painful years ... visits to eye hospitals ... failed laser surgeries ... losing hope about life as I watched as my beautiful perky wife retreated into painful despair. Several years later hope was returning ... Ellen was seeing in shades of gray ... she could somewhat function with a powerful magnifying glass. Then hope was crushed on a Sunday in November 1974 when Ellen awoke with dark spots in her eyes ... before the day was out everything was black again ... I was devastated!

The days were dark again ... sadness and despair ruled the day ... I medicated with beer and bourbon. Then something changed – I transferred to Houston Texas from Newark New Jersey in February 1975 ... Ellen and I moved in March. Within a week of moving to our new house Marvale, a neighbor, knocked on the door ... Ellen answered the door and Marvale knew instantly why they had move to Houston ... you see she and her husband Jerry (with their 2 children) were packing their moving van in Oklahoma that same Sunday that Ellen’s eyes were hemorrhaging ... they had no clue why they were being transferred to Houston ... but God knew and when she met Ellen Marvale also knew. A friendship began to grow with our new neighbors ... Jerry tried to talk to me about Jesus but I would have nothing to do with religion or God ... my wounds went deep.

On a Sunday in August 1975 Ellen capitulated to Marvale’s invitation to come to church ... after all I had to work that day and couldn't go ... and went to church with her and her family. The pastor did something different that morning ... before he gave his sermon he asked if anyone would like to invite Jesus into their heart ...Ellen’s hand shot up ... she was the only one and the pastor decided to speak to her after the service. He proceeded to give his sermon and asked people to turn to a bible passage ... as Marvale opened her bible Ellen looked down and pointed to the scrpture ... she saw the words of the scripture ... and could read the very small print ... she could not believe what had happened ... she could now see out of her left eye ... simply miraculous!

That evening I returned home from work to this wild and thoroughly unbelievable story and ... being a very wounded and skeptical man ... I shrugged it off as a part of the weirdness of our lives. A week later the reality of the miracle hit me in the face ... I came home to the news that Ellen had ... for the first time in over 3 years ... got her drivers license ... I was shocked and could no longer stay in denial of what had happened to her ... she had passed the eye exam. At her insistence we started going to the church where she accepted Jesus ... what a weird place ... people smiled and seemed to enjoy church ... there were no hymnals ... they didn’t kneel ... it made me feel quite uncomfortable. I quickly took control and announced that we would begin attending an Episcopal Church ... the denomination that I grew up in. Ellen acquiesced and we began a journey that encompassed several churches and many Full Gospel Businessmen’s meetings. I was beginning to see that faith was more than a religion ... I started to be lovingly ... and sometimes not so lovingly confronted ... with the scriptures.

On a weeknight in the fall of 1975 Ellen interrupted my TV time with a few questions ... ones that would impact me for the rest of my life. She started with “Do you believe in the bible?” I replied sarcastically “Of course I do ... Episcopalians believe in the bible.” ... I wasn’t going to let her get the best of me ... my religion was just as good as hers. She asked another question: “Do you believe in evolution?” I said “Of course I do ... it is science.” Then she said something that rocked me – “Then you don’t believe in the bible”. Of course being a New Yorker I had to say something, so I retorted “I don’t know about all that but whatever the Episcopalians believe is what I believe.” I had no clue what the bible said because I had never read it and for some reason this bothered me.

As the months passed I watched Ellen become stronger ... we would argue ... I would win but didn’t really feel that I had won. She was being transformed into something beautiful. Then Good Friday 1976 came ... by now we were watching the 700 Club almost every night ... I was often moved by testimonies of healings and miracles. That Friday night Pat Robertson invited us to take communion with him ... we used a hamburger bun and apple juice ... it was so moving ... my heart was touched and broken. The next night we attended a Full Gospel Businessmen’s convention with Jerry and Marvale ... a medical doctor spoke ... the message was endearing ... then came an altar call for healing ... Ellen still struggled with diabetes and went forward for prayer. As I watched her go forward my heart broke once again and I closed my eyes and prayed my first real prayer. I began to pray by saying “God if you will heal my wife I will stop drinking” ... as I spoke a presence came over me ... I became aware that I was a sinner ... I felt dirty on the inside ... I changed my prayer and told the Lord I would give up the booze because it was what he wanted me to do ... I didn't really know it but I was surrendering my heart to Him. A minute later I opened my eyes and there was Jerry standing in front of me – he told me that the speaker was praying for people and asked me to go down with him. I went down and the man put his hand on my head and blessed me ... that was it ... I thought that nothing had happened ... that is until the next day.

The next day was Easter and we went to church in the evening with our neighbors ... no one had a clue what I had done in the quietness of my heart the night before ... I didn’t plan to tell anyone. I remember, like it was yesterday, that night at a large church in Houston ... I was caught up in worship for the first time in my life. I remember we were singing a chorus from the Andre Crouch song "My Tribute". We were repeating the verse "To God be the glory" ... I was in a state of surrender ... singing my heart out ... entering a most holy place of worship ... then ... shock of all shocks ... I came to the realization that I was no longer singing in English ... I was totally freaked out ... I tried to rationalize but I couldn’t – God had met me, given me a spiritual gift and assured me that I was His ... powerful transformation was beginning ... it was the beginning of the wildest ride of my life ... a ride with my friend Jesus

It has been fun remembering and writing about that season of my life some 30+ years ago ... a sweet memory that I will celebrate this week as I remember Jesus’ week of passion ... a week that started with praises ... continued with betrayal, denials and death ... and ended with miraculous resurrection. What a difference between Good Friday and Easter ... back then and back in April 1976.

-Bob Edwards

Blue Skies

I'd build you a blue sky,
I'd build you a warm sun,
I'd give you the whole world,
If you'd promise to have fun.

I'll give you a new song,
You will be complete,
I'll give you singing heart,
I'll give you dancing feet,

Let's rediscover wonder,
Let's redefine reality,
I'll reinvent your happiness.
Flowers as far as you can see.

Laughter can soothe your soul,
And heal the scars you have inside,
I'll make the broken become whole,
I'll teach you how to cry.

I'll make the earth touch the sky,
So you can reach up and fly,
With me.

I know that you'd be set free.
If you would,
just trust in me.

by Joy Worcester

10 Questions: Doug Aldridge

Q: Where were you born?
A: Superior, WI [across the river from where Carolyn was born in Duluth MN. Coincidence? that we met 650 mi distant, yet our families had common friends in that area.]

Q: Middle name?
A: Frank, my father's first name.

Q: Your favorite chip?
A: Baked Lays

Q: Favorite season?
A: Spring - it's the start of long warm days.

Q: Coke or Pepsi?
A: Only Coke. Pepsi tastes like bug spray.

Q: Childhood dream job?
A: Independent wealth - still dreaming.

Q: Favorite item of clothing?
A: Depends on the event but no neckties

Q: Favorite Sandwich?
A: Panera bacon turkey bravo.

Q: Breakfast Food?
A: 50/50 mix of rice crispies and cocoa crispies

Q: Dream vacation spot:
A: Las Brisas - an old fortress in Acapulco

10 Questions: Carol Hoffmeier

Q: Where were you born?
A: Seaford, Delaware

Q: Middle name?
A: Dee [short for Delilah; it was the best choice from great names like Augustus, Mable, Oliver, Loretta, and Elmer]

Q: Your favorite chip?
A: Butterscotch in blonde brownies

Q: Favorite season?
A: Spring

Q: Coke or Pepsi?
A: Nope. Give me a triple espresso.

Q: Childhood dream job?
A: Movie star, all I got offered was babysitting

Q: Favorite item of clothing?
A: Soft, snuggly sweater

Q: Favorite Sandwich?
A: Turkey and brie cheese at Dean & Deluca

Q: Breakfast Food?
A: Fruit or yogurt or bagel or all 3

Q: Dream vacation spot:
A: Costa Rica

Backpacks and Smiles


These pictures and the following report are from Randy Catlett's most recent Missions trip.

I visited Taichung Taiwan where Lyn Strietzel and Kristin Fulmer, Metro Missionaries, one night a week minister to 12 orphan boy's ages 9 to 12. Several months back they sent out emails to their friends asking them to sponsor one of the orphans so they could buy them some gifts. The response was overwhelming and they were able to give each of the 12 boys a backpack, tennis shoes, a towel, books, pens and pencils. Plus they were able to give them an amazing meal.

I was privileged to join them on the celebration night and got to see the looks on their little faces as they received their gifts. They went from playful, rowdy little orphans to quiet, grateful little boy's who have never 'owned' anything in their short lived lives. Now they had these gifts to bring identity to them, something that actually belonged to them. Then to cap the evening off Lyn and Kristin spoke words of encouragement to each boy. It was a beautiful evening.

The Smiling Judge

Following is a bit of feedback from Michael Sullivant on our Stirring Up The Gift! seminar:

The highlight for me was definitely something very clearly from God that happened in our small prayer circle at the end of the day...

After Stephanie and I prayed for Julie (that she said was very meaningful for her), John spoke up very gently. He said, "I saw a picture of a judge with a gavel in his hand, but he had a smile on his face. I'm not sure what that means, except the only time I've ever seen a judge with a smile on his face is when he is arranging for an adoption." Now John and Mary have been very involved in adoption matters for a long time. But, those of us who know Julie, and she herself, were really stunned by this picture. Since John didn't know Julie or what she does, I said, "Julie, you have to tell John what you do." She then revealed to him that she works for the Lighthouse--a ministry from which adoptions for babies born to single mothers are arranged! It was a wonderful prophetic insight that confirmed to Julie that she is right in the middle of the Lord's will for her in this season of her life. It also really encouraged John-- as he now knows in a renewed way that the Lord has given him a gift that he will now stir up afresh and use for the benefit of others. Right John?! Go get 'em.

10 Questions: Bob Edwards

Q: Where were you born?
A: New York City.. been in KC since 1976

Q: Middle name?
A: Fred: after my Mississippi uncle

Q: Your favorite chip?
A: Wise Potato Chips when I am back in NYC

Q: Favorite season?
A: Are you kidding? Spring - winter is finally over!

Q: Coke or Pepsi?
A: Starbucks in the AM, IBC Root Beer after noon

Q: Childhood dream job?
A: Computer Programmer since college

Q: Favorite item of clothing?
A: Long sleeve T-shirts, jeans & sneakers

Q: Favorite Sandwich?
A: Pork Roll & Cheese.. a New York delicacy

Q: Breakfast Food?
A: I make the best omelets in Kansas City

Q: Dream vacation spot:
A: Victoria, British Columbia

A Historical Perspective

A few years ago, on a Sunday morning, Kirk Sackett presented a twelve minute Historical Perspective of our church. I recently re-listened to it and thought that I would recommend it to you.

-Bob Edwards

The Man on the Bus

A few months ago my best friend Pam asked me if I still heard from God and if God was speaking to me. I answered her about the ways God has been speaking to me lately, not too many audibles but I was noticing His voice in different ways. I wondered if she had been struggling with hearing God’s voice and that is why she asked me the question.

Pam told me a story recently that touched my heart again about the secrets of God. Pam was taking a bus ride to Denver to visit her aging mother. She was at the bus station in Wyoming waiting for her bus. She began to look around at the people who would be her fellow travelers. They were looking a little rough around the edges, long hair, unkept, unwashed, missing teeth- things that may cause us to make judgements about people. She didn’t want to spend 10 hours on the bus with these people. She didn’t feel safe. What if they harassed her or just annoyed her. What if her life was in danger.

The most dangerous looking person making the trip was a giant of a man with no front teeth. The worse part was that he seemed to be staring at Pam. She was very nervous at the eye contact he was giving her. She was ready to tell Tom, her husband, that she was not getting on this bus.

She had an idea as only Pam can. In the bus terminal she picked out a sweet looking grandmother type and tried to make friends with her so the two of them could sit together and be safe from the others. She approached her and smiled at her suggesting that they could sit next to each other on the bus. When it was time to load the bus Pam took her seat near the bus driver and put her things on the seat next to her to save it for her new friend. She decided to sit near the bus driver because that would be safe. He would protect her although she didn’t know him any better than the rest of the lot but at least he had a job. The grandmother got on the bus and walked right past Pam’s saved seat never even stopping to look at her. She was now alone with all the strangers on the bus. And who should sit across the aisle from her, yes, the giant with no teeth.

Pam made a barrier with her carry on items. She placed her Jesus book bag between her and the man. She arranged her purse and lunch as walls of defense. She opened a book and lowered her head to read sealing the “Do not disturb, beware of dog” attitude.

She noticed that the big man kept staring at her and smiling at her. What could he possibly want from her? He finally mentioned something about one of the books he noticed in her giant book bag. He said he had read it and it was a good book. She began to relax the flexed muscles of her body. The man said to her the strangest thing, he said he could tell that she was a disciple of Jesus because “you study God’s word.” The man then began talking about Jesus. She listened. He talked. He expounded on the scriptures from the Old Testament to the New Testament on the purpose and plan of God for mankind. Her heart burned within her as he shared knowingly for hours on the road to Denver of God’s word. She said it felt like Jesus on the road to Emmaus explaining the word of God to his disciples. Every once in a while she would ask a question and the man would answer with knowledge and compassion.

The man got up and began to give out his “Do you know Jesus?” cards. She marveled at how easy he moved from person to person and everyone accepted a card from him. Before this the strangers on the bus seemed to be in their own little world. Now Pam looked around the bus and each one looked so different to her. They had softened, the severity and pressure was gone. What had happened? What had changed and softened them? She said to me as she relayed this story that she realized that they were people just like her struggling on their journey through life with the equipment they had been given for the task. At the first stop she noticed that people had begun smiling at each other. She felt like this man’s presence had somehow brought light and hope and love to the bus. The rest of the trip people conversed, laughed, shared food with each other. When the bus arrived in Denver everyone was hugging each other and sad to say good-bye. Pam said to me she felt a closeness to God, like she had been with the Lord and had heard him speak to her. She wondered now if the giant was really an Angel of the Lord.

He is always speaking to us isn’t he? He speaks in varied ways to His unique children. Some of us need the audible and He speaks. Some need his touch and He touches. Some of us need to see His kindness in the common areas of life and He displays Himself through a giant with no teeth. We believe because He is real and He transcends our fear, control and confusion to display His beauty. We believe because we experience Him. We believe because our spirits are touched by the Spirit of God. We believe because His truth speaks to our spirit and our hearts confirm the reality and rejoice in His truth. We believe because He is alive.

Copyright by Livie Sanchez 2007

10 Questions: Maricia Beel

Q: Where were you born?
A: Kansas City, KS

Q: Middle name?
A: Louise [real name Mary Louise]

Q: Your favorite chip?
A: Salt and Vinegar chips [all natural]

Q: Favorite season?
A: I love Fall and the early days of Spring

Q: Coke or Pepsi?
A: Raspberry Ice Tea

Q: Childhood dream job?
A: I wanted to be a nun [thought that was the only way I could be close to God] and a teacher to work with kids

Q: Favorite item of clothing?
A: Fancy Cowgirl Boots

Q: Favorite Sandwich?
A: Natural peanut butter on Ezekiel bread

Q: Breakfast Food?
A: Organic yo-baby yogurt with natural oats

Q: Dream vacation spot:
A: In my rocking chair on the deck of my trailer at the rat shack.

The Most Rewarding Lifestyle

Following are a few excerpts from a note from Cathy Carnes, one of the newest members of our church family.

I look back at all the different types of journeys I have lived through, but the last journey I will take, I will take with God. It is yet the longest journey but by far the most rewarding. When I became a Christian, no one told me that there would be a time where I would need to give up the bad stuff, the non spiritual things in my life. No one told me that my heart would change in a way that I would want to surrender my entire life to God. (Thank you for not telling me) Even though I had a willing heart, no one told me how hard some of it would be, (I did not sign up for this part of it.)
...
Being a Christian is the most rewarding lifestyle. I say lifestyle because it is not just something that you do to please someone else, it is not just a “sometime things,” it is not just a “I’ll talk to God when it feels good” or “when things get straight in my life, when things are good again”. It is a lifestyle, an everyday relationship with the Almighty God of the universe. God sent Jesus so that we could have a relationship, eternal relationship with him, not only after we die, but now, here on earth. God wants to hear from us on a daily basis. He wants us to tell him everything, all things, and go to him for our comfort and rest. I don’t pick only certain things to tell Jesus, although I have tried, it just doesn’t work. He will eventually reveal to you all things. NO hiding from Jesus. I am learning to open up, be honest, (which is not easy), and talk to him truthfully. (Which is even harder sometimes) He wants to know everything about me, although he already knows, he wants me to tell him.
...
I am learning to depend on God, giving him what was his from the start and not taking it back.(ok, sometimes I want to take things back, but it is not easy giving someone else total control over your life. But I can admit it now; He is the one who knows best.) God has been very faithful and patient as I learn what “being a child of God” really means. As I study what God’s love for me means, and what that looks like, I am reminded of one the verses that was introduced to me in the very beginning, even before I was God’s child. John 3:16 clearly states how much God loved us.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
That is so awesome that God would give us Jesus Christ, what a gift, anytime of the year, not just at his birth, (but his birth was just the beginning) and did it so willingly that we could be set free from bondage. THANK YOU GOD! No more living just to hear ourselves breathe, no more just surviving wondering what will be after all this junk on earth.
...
I write these things only to glorify God and to let you know that if you don’t know Christ as your Lord and Savior, you, too can have that abundant eternal life.

May The Holy Spirit cover you this day and the days to come and may you bring honor and glory to God as you seek to know him more.

Love to all,

Cathy

The M-ies

2/15 Update: New pictures have been added to this slideshow.

Each year our leadership team goes all-out to recognize and honor the members of our church who serve the Lord by volunteering in various ways. We call this night "The M-ies"

This years' awards night started off with an Elderly.. errr.. I mean.. Elder Rap.. just wish I could give you the vocals J

Kids Praying with Kids in Nepal

This just in from H&MT in Nepal:

One of our highlights of Christmas was taking our eight kids to go visit a children's hostel run by friends of ours. The kids at this hostel are from high up in the mountains, and they all come from very poor families. Some of them have only one parent, and one of them is actually an orphan now. They live here, get well fed, go to an excellent school, and learn to love Jes.s! There are 18 of them. Our kids saved up their money, put it all together, and bought Christmas presents for each of the kids at the hostel. We taught them some of our favorite worsh.p or Christmas songs, and they did their Christmas drama for us, complete with a Tibetan song. We played together, ate together, and even pr.yed together (see picture) It was an awesome day.

Spirit of the Marathon

If anyone is interested, there’s going to be a movie called “Spirit of the Marathon” on Thursday, Feb 21 at 7:30 p.m. I’m not sure that it would encourage any of you to go out and run a marathon after seeing it, but I think it would be a great movie to watch – even if you’re not a runner! Here is the movie trailer:



I ran my first (and probably ONLY) marathon a couple years ago, and in going through the process of training for the race & then actually running the race, I found there were many spiritual parallels. A few things that really hit home for me:
  • What it takes to train for an endurance-race vs. a quick sprint (and let’s be real…the “Christian Walk” is NO quick sprint!)
  • Persevering…even when it’s painful
  • To just keep going even though everything in you wants to quit
  • When you’ve “hit your wall” or think you can’t possibly keep going, it’s the crowd around you, cheering you on, that encourages you to not lose heart and to just keep going.
  • The importance of taking in water & being nourished throughout the entire race
  • To fight through emotional, mental and physical barriers because there’s a goal, a prize, finish line, something you must keep your eyes fixed on.
Feeling the emotions of these things helps to draw a much stronger parallel, rather than to just hear someone “talk about” running a race. Even if you don’t run a marathon, I think the movie would speak to your emotions. It would be a great encouragement in this race we are running, called “the Christian Walk.” It would remind us once again to persevere, to keep our eyes on the prize, to be encouraged by the great cloud of witnesses that surround us, to be nourished by the water of the Word, and to run this race with everything we got! Hope to see you there!

Brigitte Lousberg

PS: Click here for more information and here for tickets.

Much Love from Perth

Much love from Perth in Western Australia on this very welcome rainy day. We have had so little rain for a long time so to have heavy showers is a gift. I felt a bit like we felt in India when after 9 months of dry weather the heavens would open accompanied by the loudest thunder and the darkest clouds and the heaviest deluge of rain - just like waterfalls descending from heaven!! In India, the people would run into the streets fully clothed and dance in the rain. The children would run out with only their knickers on and run and leap and play.

I'm here with my family and preparing for two mission trips one to Taiwan and India that starts in early March until 26 March. The second one begins on the 2nd April to South Africa and ends on the 25th April. I will go on each journey with a different friend and both are delightful ladies with great heart for the Lord and for people. I'm hopeful that you will remember to pray for us and we journey. Isabel, Robyn and in South Africa, Merilyn. I spend time in fellowship and prayer with Merilyn this morning. Very sweet time.

With much love and looking forward to catching up with at least some of you on my return to KC a little later in the year.

With much love and in His loving grip and shining grace,

Isabel Paterson

All Church Baptism


Last October our church baptized over 40 folks.. young and old alike were baptized by friends and family members. These pictures are representative of that joyous Sunday morning.

LIGHT House Thank You

Many thanks to all of you who contributed to the Lighthouse Baby Item Drive. Your giving is a blessing to us and an encouragement to our girls as they chose life for their babies. We appreciate your generosity. Thanks again for your support of our ministry.

Julie Fankhauser and the Lighthouse Staff.

10 Questions: Steve Childress

Q: Where were you born?
A: I was born in Richlands, Virginia...way back in the hills.

Q: What is your middle name?
A: My middle name is Mack. Hated it as a kid...Love it now.

Q: What is your favorite chip flavor?
A: My favorite chip flavor is Sour Cream & Onion.

Q: Favorite season?
A: Fall is my favorite season. I love the first cool crisp days on the heels of a hot summer.

Q: Coke or Pepsi?
A: I lived in Atlanta for six years, so I have to say Coke. ?In the south we call it a Co-Cola.

Q: Your childhood dream job?
A: I have wanted to work in television since the fourth grade, when my class visited a TV station.

Q: Favorite item of clothing?
A: I love wearing sweaters, especially on cool fall days.

Q: Favorite Sandwich?
A: My favorite sandwich is turkey and provolone on really good bread.

Q: Breakfast Food?
A: My favorite breakfast food is biscuits and gravy with a big glass of milk.

Q: Dream vacation spot?
A: My dream vacation spot would be a secluded cabin in the woods with walking trails, beautiful sunsets and satellite TV.

Nepal Blessing

Dear Metro,

This is just a quick note to say how much we appreciate your constant support and prayers for the work God is doing here in Nepal. It is wonderful to know that you are standing with us. Every month when we see your name on our statement we give thanks for you and we pray that God will abundantly bless you. Metro is such a blessing to our family. Words can't communicate all we feel, but we want you to know that God is using you to make a difference here in Nepal and we are blessed.

We look forward to seeing all that He will do in the year ahead through your prayers and your generosity.

Blessings,

Bob & Sonam Brownlee

10 Questions: Jen Parker

  • Where were you born? Atlanta, GA
  • What is your middle name? Kathleen
  • Favorite chip? Doritos-original
  • Favorite season? Fall
  • Coke or Pepsi? Coffee, that was one of the choices right?
  • Your childhood dream job? Teacher
  • Favorite item of clothing? sweatshirt and jeans
  • Favorite Sandwich? Turkey
  • Breakfast Food? What’s breakfast?
  • Dream vacation spot: Italy

Adventures in Guatemala

Below is a note from Sue Kawase reporting from Guatemala about her trip with Pastor Rany Catlett, Kevin Mangold and Sue's son Kenon.

Our Guatemala team is socked in the village unable to fly out because of the thick clouds. The first flight attempted and turned back, having to land again. The experienced MAF pilot could not see any openings throught the clouds, and so returned to the short landing strip. Greg Walton attempted unsuccessfully to navigate through a river last weekend, but his Rover got stuck; even a minivan could be tough getting out. Our flights out are scheduled to leave 9am on Monday.

Other than this, we have had a wonderful time in the village. Greg and Helaine have treated us royally, Guatemalan village style. We've had suppers by candlelight on their veranda; native lunches with Sabina- a Guatemalan woman and her girls cooked in her stone/mud corner "oven"; cold showers by candlelight; and a chance to love and serve these wonderful people. Kenon has taken the challenge with communicating in Spanish with the school children and the rest have attempted as well. The school children enjoyed watching Kenon on the trampoline. The satellite and hot water heater is up and running thanks to Jim Grimes and Kenon. Randy and Kevin Mangold have been great team leaders, keeping us humored with lots of stories, and leading us in flexibility, Guatemala time.

Thank you for your prayers...we are enjoying our time tremendously; and, especially glad to serve and love Greg, Helaine, and little Gigi.

PS- All who sent gifts--they send their big THANKS!

Love from all,
Sue Kawase

Stirring Up The Gift

I really think that you'll enjoy this day of being together in the presence of God and each other as we encourage, teach and seek to stir up the gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives and community. We feel it's a timely thing for us all to do. A number of people will be participating in the day. One unique feature will be 5 minute testimonies from 12 different people that will be interspersed throughout the day. They will relate how hearing the voice of God in some personal and more direct kind of way has impacted their faith in Jesus. We will also spend some time at the end of day having about 11 teams of 2-3 praying with those in attendance. I'm confident that the Lord will be there to confirm the hearts of His precious people. The day will zip by--believe me. We'll go away thinking about how we need to do it again in the near future. Please pray about attending.

With much love,
Michael Sullivant (and Terri too)


On Mission Field in KC

Following is an excerpt from Maria Little's recent ministry letter. Maria is on an extended stateside leave from her Ivory Coast mission. Feel free to contact her if you are interested in supporting her ministry or would just like more information.

The beautiful tree lined streets and cold and snow of Brookside are my home at the moment, yet my heart continues to long for Africa. I don't tolerate the cold as well as I used to, and find myself missing the heat. But, as I have told you before, this is where I am to be right now. And the Lord has made that abundantly clear. And He is aligning all things to His glory and His purposes. But I wanted to check in, and bring you up to date on happenings and share a bit.

As I believe I told you before, I started work in October in the Infectious Disease Clinic at Truman Medical Center, here in KC. This is the indigent care hospital for the Kansas City area. This clinic is primarily for treatment of HIV and AIDS. And it has definitely been a divine placement. My patients are as diverse as your imagination, and they keep me entertained and on my toes. My colleagues and superiors know that I am a ' short termer' and will be returning to Africa, and they are teaching me all that I need to know about HIV/AIDS while they've got me. They even sent me to Chicago for an intensive training time. I have met pharmaceutical rep's willing to give me medications for Africa. It is a time of networking and aligning things for teaching and providing care to the HIV population in Africa. I even have multiple patients from Africa - and a few from Abidjan. You should have see the shocked look on their faces when I start speaking French with them. It gives us an instant connection, and I think makes both of us long for Africa.

Learning about adults is a stretch for me, but I am enjoying it. This clinic is definitely a mission field, and I am growing quite attached to some of my patients. This is a horrid disease, and no one deserves it.

I'm also working at Swope Parkway Health Center as a PNP ( Pediatric Nurse Practitioner). You know I couldn't forget the children, and this keeps my foot in the door with the kids, and keeps my pediatric skills up. I'm working with my friend, Warren Johnson, who unfortunately will be moving from Swope in the next couple months. They ( and me ) will sorely miss him.

I am meeting with people and groups, sharing vision and my heart for Africa. Support raising has always been hard for me, but necessary. I will need to get my support to a higher level before I return, and will start focusing on it more intently in the next couple months.

-Maria Little

10 Questions: Kirk Sackett

Where were you born? Independence, MO
What is your middle name? Alan
What is your favorite chip ? Ranch
Favorite season? Fishing season
Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi!
Your childhood dream job? Forest Ranger
Favorite item of clothing? Waders
Favorite Sandwich? Rueben
Breakfast Food? Eggs
Dream vacation spot: Colorado Mountains

Men in the Mountains

In September of 07 I took nine guys from Metro and we went on an adventure to the “Lost Coast” in California. What a great trip!

We camped the first night in the Redwoods and shared our hearts around the campfire.. sharing about all that God was doing in our lives.

For the next few days we hiked into the wilderness of northern California. Each night we would gather around the campfire and pray for each other.. sharing in victories and breakthroughs as well as carrying each others burdens.

It was seriously one of the richest camping experiences of my life!

May God give us many times together where we can enrich one another in truth and in life. He gives us to each other as gifts to share in each others sufferings and share in each others victories.

Come join us soon on one of Metro’s retreats designed especially for men. You will also be blessed and grow in relationship to God and to your community! Here are the retreats that we have on the calendar for this year:

April 9-13th in Colorado Springs

August 2008: Somewhere wild and untamed!

Pray about putting those dates on your calendar.. you will be glad that you did.

-Jim Bailey

You can check out pictures from the trip here.