~reflections~musings~inspirations~insights~and life lessons learned by one who is
whole-heartedly, steadfastly, firmly in HIS grip~

Romans 1:6 "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes..."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Children, Bibles, and Spaghetti...O MY!

Ms. Theresa (fresh out of bed) Pastor Greg, Ms. Kristina, Ms. Mary, Pastor Sid, and the children before church camp.

Being the Sunday school superintendent I am known by the children church-wide as Ms. Theresa. I show up before the bus leaves for church camp and pray with them, I am involved with Vacation Bible School, sometimes I teach classes when their teacher’s are sick or on vacation, and I attend as many of their functions as possible.

As stated in previous posts, our church is located just outside the gates of the Air Force base and we are home to many transient congregants. Some of the Air Force personnel simply attend services, some teach…some step into a leadership role; and when orders are cut for the next duty station our church family really feels the loss.

We were in that place last year…the crunch…several of our leadership left for the call of duty…some left because of God’s call…some just left. Never-the-less it was crunch time. Our once burgeoning youth group was graduating and heading to college or taking on their first job. Along with these fresh-out-of-high-schoolers we had many young adults, some with families, some without… all searching for their place within the congregation.

Our church is relatively small and offered three adult Sunday School classes. Most adults attended one of the two 6:00 p.m. classes as the one offered at 9:00 a.m. was just too early. I had long prayed for something for these young adults…a class…a teacher…a program. We needed a young adult pastor! Someone who would step in…keep our young people involved and shepherd them toward a life of committed service. That’s when Greg and Kristina entered our lives.

They lived and attended church several towns over. Greg was full time Air National Guard, studying to become a chaplain, and was attached to our base. One Sunday, a holiday Sunday, I can’t remember which holiday; they visited our church because evening services at theirs was cancelled. Don’t you just love it when God sits an answer right in your lap?

Pastor Greg Armstrong

A short time later, Pastor Greg, his wife Kristina, and their three small children moved into the parsonage next door to the church. I love those Armstrong kids and soon there will be one more. But what I love most is Kristina. I love everything about her! She loves the Lord with all her heart, is outspoken, and has great ideas. She’s a take-charge kind of gal who gets things done…you know the kind…sees a need…fills it! Even better…she has a heart for the children’s ministry and it shows in everything she does.

It had been quite some time since our church had a Bible Quizzing team and that is where Kristina began her service to the children of Jacksonville First Church of the Nazarene. Her small band of quizzers would come to church the Sunday after a meet and gather up on the stage where she would present ribbons, certificates, and other awards. There were even trophies as they made their way through the end-of-the-quizzing-year tournaments which leads me to spaghetti, children and bibles.

This coming Sunday afternoon, after church the Quizzers are having their first annual spaghetti fund-raising lunch. I don’t know about y’all, but we love to eat…especially on Sunday afternoons when it only costs a donation! I had planned on showing up for the dinner, visiting as I always do, dropping a twenty in the bucket, eating…then heading home for one of those good ole Nazarene naps between services. However, that was before Kristina leaned over in my ear and whispered, “I need you to be on the adult quizzing team.”

Ms. Kristina...champion of the children!

The ADULT quizzing team, what do you mean the adult quizzing team? They have quizzing for adults? “No, no, no.” she said smiling. “After we eat lunch the adults are going to challenge the children to a quiz match.”

“Uh, OK, what do I do?”

“Just come prepared” was her response. “We are doing Exodus.”

When I asked her to be more specific…she nonchalantly informed me…the entire book of Exodus. Now, these kids have been studying Exodus for quite some time already… Oh, man…I gotta quit writing and get to studying!!! What will the kids think if they beat me?

Hummmmm... maybe they SHOULD beat me!

Deuteronomy 4:9 “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to our children and to their children after them.”

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. (7) Impress them upon your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”


  1. Hi Theresa, Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving me a comment. I always love meeting new friends. We certainly have one thing in common.....our love for Our Lord, Jesus!!!

  2. God is Awesome!!! What wonderful people He has sent your way!!! He always knows who to send and when they are needed!! I love Romans 1:6!!!
    Thanks for the birthday wishes, but my birthday is this Sat. so you didn't miss it!!
    We just celebrated a week early since all the kids were home!!

  3. Devoted - I think I have the right blog! LOL You are the 2nd "Nazarene" I have met this week. Nanatrish mentioned this past Monday as we were having lunch that she was Nazarene. Tell me more, are you in Jacksonville, FL or Arkansas ?? Not sure. We are in Hernando, FL. By the way, if you stop by the Hernando Church of the Nazarene this Sunday or during the next three months, papa will be teaching the adult SS lesson in one of the adult classes. :o) IN Michigan we live on the Indian Lake Nazarene Camp. God bless as you serve HIM !

  4. God is indeed Awesome! HE already had everything planned out and it all worked (or will work) perfectly. Good luck on the Quizzes. Better study! ♥ ∞

  5. It's great that you guys are located close to a base so our service guys and gals can enjoy the fellowship and the love for a season of time. Blessings my friend. Strider

  6. What an inspiring post! Blessings to you this day.

  7. I would like to see our church have Bible Quizzes like that for the children. I think they learn so much more in this setting. Blessing on all your family and church.

  8. I love the way God fills a need, what a blessing He sent this couple to the church. When I taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Sunday School, I found the students usually knew their stuff. Blessings to you.


  9. This post made me fondly think back on my early Sunday school teachers and how influential they were in leading me to Christ. It also made me think of my days participating in Bible Drills.

  10. Thank you for commenting on the Rick Warren devotional on my Power of Prayer blog. I felt led to post it and it has spoken to several people already. PTL!

    Your banner is so beautiful!



Thanks for stopping by...I look forward to seeing you again!