Saturday, April 17, 2010


T4G! This is the abbreviation for Together For The Gospel, a conference every two years in Louisville, Kentucky. It was started in 2006 with around 2,000 pastors, church leaders and some wives. This year marked a 7,000 attendance. The theme was The Unadjusted Gospel. Last week I was able to join with some of the leaders from Edgewood Bible Church. And with that many people it is hard to believe that we ran into Pastor Mike Jones from Independent Bible Church and a few of his guys.

The conference was held in the Kentucky Convention Center with a number of main sessions, workshops one day, panel discussions among the speakers and plenty of opportunities to explore and purchase books from the various publishers with their tantalizing discounts. While I enjoyed the time of being stimulated in some thought-provoking issues, I must admit that my true enjoyment came from discussions with the Edgewood leaders following the sessions, and of course the fellowship at the various meals.

It has been interesting to observe over the years the swing toward a more conservative view of Scripture, especially among young pastors. While not everyone agrees with all the tenets of Reformed Theology, myself being one, I must admit there is a freshness that excites one to see thousands who are wanting to stand upon the solid teaching of the Scriptures.
Since there was a lot of information downloaded, I will find myself going on line to download the sessions to listen to them again. One of the sessions that was of interest to me concerned the Church Fathers. I suppose some of that comes as a result of my picking up my Church History book and rereading it. We can learn some valuable lessons from the Church Fathers, especially those who identified so closely with the Apostles as their disciples, or disciples of the disciples of the Apostles.

I even had a short time one afternoon to walk down to the Louisville Slugger Museum. This was my second time; the first time Katherine and I went when we had a IFCA Annual Convention in Louisville. As I walked down
the "Walk of Fame" various names like Lou Brock, Johnny Bench, Babe Ruth, etc. brought back fresh memories of my growing up years.

Now to tackle all those free books they gave out - about 20 we figured. I've got my work cut out for me.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sequim, Southhill, Carson, INW Regional

Well, we've been busy the last number of weeks, but then what's unusual about that? We had an opportunity to pop up to Sequim Bible Church on March 7, our Anniversary day. We enjoyed Pastor Dave Witala's message on unity. Our hope is to get back up soon and give a presentation on NICE. The Adult Sunday School teacher would like us to share in his class.
We also were at Faith Bible Church on Southhill, Puyallup the middle of the month for services and annual report. We always enjoy the times when we can drop in for worship in the Morning or Evening Services. Dr. Roy Sprague, former Director of NICE and Earl (Shirley) Brubaker, current Director of NICE were also able to be there. Here is a picture of all three Directors, Past (L), Present (R) & Future (M).

We recently made a trip to southern Washington and Idaho. We started out at Carson Bible Church on a Saturday for an Ordination Council which Bob and Dr. Sprague participated in. We spent the evening with our Missionary Pastor & wife, Dave & Glenda West (he's the preacher on the left). It is always a treat to visit with them. On Sunday morning there was an Ordination Service in which Bob and Dr. Sprague preached. Then after services we headed to Deary, Idaho to spend the evening with Katherine's sister Linda and family. On Monday afternoon we made out trek to Southwick Bible Church for the Inland Northwest Regional. It was good to see a number of folks we've known and get the opportunity to meet new and begin to establish new friendships. Bob sat on an impromptu panel Tuesday and Katherine enjoyed a time of crafts.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

NICE New Year's Luncheon

What a wonderful time we had yesterday at a NICE New Year's Luncheon along with a couple of our IFCA brothers. Usually we have planned either a Thanksgiving Dinner or Christmas Sing Dessert Night. So our thought was this year we'd skip those two events and do something centered around the New Year. We met at Edgewood Bible Church around 12:30pm and enjoyed a great time of fellowship, food and sharing. We brought some meats and cheeses and others brought salads and desserts - way more food than we could possibly eat. There were around 30 of us that gathered together. After eating our delicious meal, I (Bob) started us off with a "What's New?" Quiz. All the questions basically had the word "new" in it or some various form. The group didn't do too bad at answering the multiple choice of questions. Afterward, Dr. Roy Sprague shared 5 Things God Wants Us To Know from the book of Jude: Know Your Position, Know Your Profession, Know Your Opposition, Know Your Priorities and Know Your Power. It was a thought-provoking challenge to consider in looking forward or upward as Roy concluded, for 2010. Our Executive Director, Earl Brubaker closed our time in prayer and many of us continued to stay around for more fellowship and dessert. We are thankful for Pastor Frank Emrich and EBC hosting us for this first time event.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wishkah Valley Community Church/Shelton Bible Church

Our last couple church visits have taken us to Wishkah Valley Community Church and Shelton Bible Church. Jim & Christy Edgell serve at WVCC. The Adult Sunday School class has been studying the Minor Prophets. Pastor Jim started the class with a Bible drill from the Minor Prophets. There were a few that really knew their prophets. Pastor Jim led us through an overview of Haggai, then we split up as tables to discuss a few questions. After some quality time of answering questions in our group we had a joint discussion.

Jim asked Bob to share about the ministry of Northwest Independent Church Extension during the
morning service. There was a good turn out of people and the Worship time truly led us before the throne. Jim preached on Ephesians 2:1-3 mainly, but he did highlight some thoughts from vs5-10. His message was on the depravity of man and the mercy of God. One of the special treats for us was to have lunch with the Edgell's in their new home in the country. Jim had a number of valuable questions for Bob related to ministry.

Last Sunday we venture over to Shelton Bible Church for Sunday School around 9:30am. One of the gals is taking the group through a Bible Survey she has done in the past. While the Worship Service was small, it was a nice group to fellowship with. Don Wantland preached on a series he has been doing called Urgency for the New Year. Don & Jodi are Special Missionaries with N.I.C.E. helping SBC out since they don't have a pastor. Don concentrated on Truth and Spiritual Mindedness by way of review then shared thoughts on the Sonship we have in Christ. After Church a few of us ended up at Denny's where ministry thoughts and concerns continued to be a part of our fellowship.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Keyport Bible Church/Elma Christmas Cantata

This past Sunday we headed over to Keyport Bible Church (Bob's home church) for Sunday School and Worship. We sat in on Curt Browning's Adult class in which we covered Zechariah 13. Curt was Bob's Junior High Sunday School teacher, former Elder, hiking partner and continuing mentor. Pastor Mike Chinn preached from Luke 9 on a "Glimpse of Glory! Back to Present Reality." It was a good time to get to know a few new people and fellowship with many we've know for years. We had a nice lunch with Curt and Marilyn Browning following church. There are already a couple others who want to spend time with us next go round.

After lunch we headed south across the Narrow's Bridge toward Elma, west of Olympia. We took a short detour to the Tacoma Mall for a few items. It also gave us time to contemplate where we go on to Elma considering the snowy situation on the road. We decided to make the trip which went fine. Arriving a bit early we decided to stop in at Saginaw's Cafe for coffee and dessert. Then we made our way to the High School for a Christmas Cantata. Grace Community Church, where NICE Missionaries Ken & Ruth Davis serve as Pastor, were one of five churches involved. Pastor Ken was given the privilege of sharing some thoughts following the concert. The musical was called The Promise of Light which had a great Christmas gospel message.

Monday, November 16, 2009

EBC Men's Retreat-Rock Island-Wenatchee Valley Bible

This past weekend was a busy weekend. On Saturday morning, while Katherine, Sarah Joy, Kimberly and Emma (daughter-in-law and granddaughter), went to "TEA" in Sumner, I headed out to the Edgewood Bible Church Men's Retreat in Ravensdale. This was my first time to Lake Retreat and was an enjoyable time. Our speaker was Steve Janho who is the College Pastor at Crossroads Bible Church in Bellevue. Steve used to be the Men's Ministry Leader when he and his family attended Valley Bible Church before his current role. Besides the main sessions there was opportunity for Frisbee Golf and a Basketball Freethrow contest. Katherine picked me up in the early afternoon and we headed to Rock Island where we spent the evening with Dennis and Lori Stark, pastor of the Community Church. The Starks have been at this ministry now for about four years. While we didn't see any children for Sunday School this particular Sunday, there were a dozen or so adults looking through Ephesians 3. Dennis preached from a few different passages on the subject of Thanksgiving. We were tickled to see over 55 people in the Worship service followed by a delicious Thanksgiving Dinner with all the trimmings. Boy was it crowded. I told one of the men they need to get the kitchen done and if they keep growing they may have to begin building an addition. It is encouraging to see new faces attending, being baptized, becoming new members and taking on ministry roles. Following our time of fellowship we headed over to the Bong's house so I could participate in the Wenatchee Valley Bible Church Board meeting. I serve in this capacity along with Pastor Dan and three other men. Katherine and Charlottee (wife of the Treasurer) went for coffee and hang out together during the meeting. In the Evening Service I shared from a variety of passages, via Powerpoint, on the subject of Thanksgiving. I began with Philippians 2:14 sharing concerning the subject of not complaining and disputing about the situations of life. After a time of fellowship and goodies we made our way over Blewett and Snoqualmie Pass which saw lots of deer but thankfully not a lot of snow. Unfortunately one deer had been hit in the hindquarters and was still on the road. The hazards of this time of year.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Moody Northwest Mission's Conference

Katherine and I got back last night, more specifically 12:30am this morning, from the Moody Northwest Mission's Conference in Spokane. The Conference was held at Fourth Memorial Bible Church which doubles for the Bible Institute. We began Sunday afternoon with Orientation, setting up the display and a Chili-Potato Bake. This gave us the opportunity to begin touching base with many of the students. There are a little over 300 students at Moody this year which is an increase over last year. We met up with our Inland Northwest Field Director, Roger and Karen Hayden that evening as they drove up after ministering in their church at Cambridge. On Monday morning the Conference officially began with the first General Session. The main speaker was Rev. Abraham Thomas from India who founded Agape Royal Ministries. He spoke for three of the four main sessions. Dr. Gerald W. Peterman, Chair of the Bible department at Moody Bible Institute, spoke for one session. During the main sessions there was a worship time. There was a number of seminars throughout the two days. Roger Hayden taught one seminar titled, "Is Your Church a Lighthouse?" He focused on the "first" impressions churches give when people come to the church and walk through the doors. We had a great time of fellowship with the Hayden's and a number of conversations with other displayers and students. Following the conference we enjoyed a wonderful dinner and fellowship with John & Janet Johnson at a local restaurant in downtown Spokane. We first met John years ago when he would fly into Hailey as a corporate pilot. They also spent a few years at Ravensdale Bible Church as they are related to Matt & Terri Sconce, former N.I.C.E. Missionaries who now live in Minnesota.